06/20/2011 11:03 EDT | Updated 08/20/2011 05:12 EDT

Polymer Notes: New Canada $50, $100 Bills Go Plastic

THE CANADIAN PRESS -- OTTAWA - Get ready to have a little more plastic in your wallet.

Canada is switching to polymer bank notes to replace paper-cotton bills that wear and tear more easily.

The first bills to go plastic will be the $50 and $100 notes. Both were unveiled today by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney and will feature updated portraits of former prime ministers William Lyon Mackenzie King and Robert Borden.

The Bank of Canada also said that it would be introducing polymer notes to replace the $20, $10 and $5 notes by 2013.

"The Bank's objective with every new series is to produce a bank note that Canadians can use with the highest confidence," said Governor Mark Carney. "The Bank is combining innovative technologies from around the world with Canadian ingenuity to create a unique series of bank notes that is more secure, economic and better for the environment."

The Conservative government announced in its 2010 budget that Canada would be switching to synthetic bills.

Polymer bank notes are more durable and harder to fake than paper money.

With files from the Huffington Post Canada