The Bank of England is planning to replace traditional paper banknotes with new plastic banknotes by 2016. Conducting tests on the durability of the new banknotes, the Bank highlighted that the plastic notes were, \"Hard to tear, easy to clean, survive accidental washing machine washes and do not melt until at least 120C.\" Comparing the new plastic banknotes with traditional ones, the Bank underscored that they were more durable as they last 2.5 times longer than their traditional series. Manufactured with polymer pellets, the public will have a chance to look at and feel the new notes until December before the Bank\'s final decision. Australia was the first country to issue plastic banknotes back in 1988. In addition to Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Singapore, Fiji, Canada and Mauritius use polymer notes. UK unemployment rate 7.7 pct in May-July 2013 The unemployment rate in the United Kingdom has been announced to be 7.7 percent between May and July 2013. Office for National Statistics (ONS) released Wednesday the rate of unemployment in the UK for May-July 2013 period. ONS announced the unemployment rate as 7.7 percent with 0.1 percentage points decrease compared to the February-April 2013 period. The unemployment rate realized as 7.8 percent in the previous three months. The number of people unemployed decreased by 24,000 in the mentioned period to 2.49 million in the UK. Moreover, the number of people claiming Jobseekers\' Allowance decreased by 32,600 people to 1.40 million in the same period, the lowest level recorded since February 2009.