Plastic Forth Bridge fivers are fine for laundering

CLYDESDALE Bank will release Britain’s first plastic banknotes this week, with 2m £5 notes going into circulation.

Giving new meaning to the phrase “flashing the plastic”, the polymer banknotes are being launched with a Scottish theme to mark the 125th anniversary of the Forth Bridge. The note features the image of Sir William Arrol, one of Scotland’s most celebrated engineers, whose company constructed the bridge.

The new note will include fresh security – shiny ink in the shape of Scotland over a transparent window, which changes colour as the note is moved and tilted.

But the fiver’s best feature must surely be the fact it won’t be wrecked by accidentally going through the wash. Research shows polymer notes stay cleaner for longer, are more difficult to counterfeit and last at least two-and-a-half times longer than paper ones. Let the money laundering begin!