Bank of England considering palm oil for new £20 notes
The Bank of England is launching a consultation seeking public opinion on options for the future composition of the £20 note, set to be introduced in 2020, including palm and coconut oil.
The decision follows concerns raised after the introduction of the new £5 polymer notes that were found to contain traces of animal-derived additives.
The consultation is expected to provide information on the bank’s role and objectives in note issuance, the rationale for adopting polymer notes, while describing the role of animal-derived additives in their production.
It will also set out alternative options, such as coconut and palm oil, along with highlighting the potential environmental and social impacts associated with the use of additives sourced from them, as well as tallow.
The bank has been working with potential suppliers of polymer substrate, De La Rue and Innovia Security, to assess alternative options and has also spoken to a number of interested parties, such as potentially affected religious groups, groups representing vegans and vegetarians, as well as environmental organisations.
De La Rue and Innovia Security’s conclusion was that the only practical alternative to animal-derived additives are those derived from palm oil.
The bank notes that it is aware of the environmental impacts its use might result, as it has commissioned an independent report on the issue from a consultancy firm, Efeca.
The Efeca report is published along with the consultation, as the bank “will weigh up a range of considerations in addition to the responses to this consultation”.
The bank has previously announced its decision to keep the £5 polymer note in circulation and to launch the £10 polymer note as planned in September 2017.