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Is plastic money cleaner than paper money? © Getty Images

Is plastic money cleaner than paper money?

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Germs may linger on plastic bank notes for longer… if they can manage to stick to it in the first place.

Asked by: Peter Walton, Lancashire


A 2013 study (published before the UK switched to plastic banknotes) found that the polymer currency used in Romania allowed MRSA superbugs to survive for 24 hours, compared with just three hours for paper notes. But subsequent studies on the new polymer £5 note have found that harmful germs are much less likely to stick to the plastic in the first place.


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luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


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