Spend your paper £5 notes NOW: No longer legal tender after today

Get yourself a fistful of plastic fantastics instead

Got one of these? You're A-OK. If it's a fiver that doesn't look like this, spend it ASAP

You’ve got until the end of today to spend your old paper £5 notes before they cease to be legal tender.

The individually short-lived banknotes, notorious for falling apart – particularly if left in the back pocket of your jeans after you pop them in the wash – will be replaced by the new plastic versions that have been rolled out by the Bank of England.

As regular Reg readers know, those plastic banknotes were accused of killing a single cow thanks to the use of tallow in production of the plastic polymer the notes are made from.

Sky News reckons that around 150 million paper fivers are still in circulation today. The Bank of England will still accept them at its HQ in London, as it does for any banknote ever issued in the UK, but your local High Street shops and banks no longer have to take them after today.

Sarah Deaves, private banking director at Lloyds Private Banking, told the broadcaster: "The old £5 note issued in 1957 had a strong purchasing power back then when households could buy a basket of goods from their grocer with change left over for a pint or two of beer."

Since then, we are cheerily told that inflation has pushed the price of beer up by 6,000 per cent (1957 prices being the equivalent of 5p in today’s money) to a UK-wide average of £3.

The new £20 has attracted even greater fire from environmentalists after the Bank decided to replace the single cow’s worth of tallow with palm oil. ®

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