Bank of England to keep polymer notes despite protests

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 10, 2017

Notes that contain traces of animal fat will continue to be produced by the Bank of England, despite criticism from activists.

The Bank of England announced it will continue to use chemicals derived from animal products in the polymer bank notes today.

"The Carbon Trust has certified that over their full life cycle, the carbon footprint of polymer £5 and £10 notes is lower than paper notes".

In February, the BofE decided against ditching the use of tallow for the £5 note and the new polymer £10 note, which will launch in September.

It received responses from 3,554 people.

"The Bank fully recognises the concerns raised by members of the public, both prior to and during the consultation, and has not taken this decision lightly", it said. At one point, palm oil (itself not without controversial connotations) was floated as a potential alternative ingredient.

"The Bank has had to balance these responses against its other public duties and priorities as well as the other evidence gathered over the past months", a spokesman said.

"The only now viable alternative for polymer banknotes is to use chemicals ultimately derived from palm oil", the Bank continued, adding that 88 per cent of respondents to its consultation were against the use of animal-derived additives and 48 per cent were against the use of palm oil-derived additives.

"Value for money was also a consideration in the Bank's decision. The estimated extra cost of switching has increased since the consultation and is now estimated to be around £16.5 million over the next ten years".

HM Treasury advised the Bank that it does not believe switching to palm oil derivatives would achieve value for money for taxpayers.

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