Bank of England to continue printing polymer banknotes made from traces of animal-fat: Economics wins over religious sentiments…

Bank of England has released polymer notes of GBP 5, 10 and was planning to release 20 one as well. However, these notes are made from from polymer manufactured using trace amounts of chemicals, typically less than 0.05%, ultimately derived from animal products.

This animal fat usage in notes had led Hindu groups and temples to refuse accepting these notes:
Some Hindu temples and vegetarian cafes refused to accept the new five pound note featuring World War Two leader Winston Churchill, which the BoE says is more durable and harder to fake. 
The central bank was forced to run a public poll where 88% dissented against said polymer bank notes. However, the alternate was Palm oil which had environmental consequences. The costs and benefots are also in favor of the polymer notes.
So Bank of England is planning to continue with the polymer notes. Economics wins over religious sentiments:

This decision reflects multiple considerations including the concerns raised by the public, the availability of environmentally sustainable alternatives, positions of our Central Bank peers, value for money, as well as the widespread use of animal-derived additives in everyday products, including alternative payment methods. In reaching its decision, the Bank has also taken account of its obligations under the Equality Act 2010.
 
The only currently viable alternative for polymer banknotes is to use chemicals ultimately derived from palm oil. In order to seek the public’s views on both these options, the Bank ran a full public consultation which set out a range of relevant information. The Bank has also conducted outreach meetings with representatives of potentially impacted groups, commissioned technical trials, held commercial discussions and commissioned independent environmental research.
 
3,554 people responded to our consultation. Of those who expressed a preference, 88% were against the use of animal-derived additives and 48% were against the use of palm oil-derived additives. 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. The use of palm oil raises questions about environmental sustainability and the Bank’s suppliers have been unable to commit to sourcing the highest level of sustainable palm oil at this time.
 
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. The Bank has consulted with HM Treasury, as the ultimate bearer of this additional cost is the taxpayer.
 
HM Treasury advised the Bank that it does not believe switching to palm oil derivatives would achieve value for money for taxpayers.
 
The manufacture of Bank of England polymer notes using trace amount of animal-derived additives is in line with other polymer issuers. The Bank of England has conducted in-depth investigations into alternatives and considered these in the context of the manufacture and use of plastics in other everyday household products.
 
The case for moving to polymer banknotes remains compelling. Polymer banknotes deliver significant benefits over paper, particularly when combined with state of the art security features which make the notes much harder to counterfeit. Polymer is also stronger than cotton-paper and so notes will last longer, remain in better condition and deliver environmental benefits. 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.
 
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.  The Bank also understands that the decision it has reached may not address the concerns of all parties, but in making this decision, the Bank has considered very carefully the relevant factors and taken into consideration all of its objectives, including its responsibility to maintain confidence in the currency through the issuance of high quality, secure banknotes and achieve value for money for taxpayers. 
Interesting.
We were told earlier that RBI will also issue Polymer notes. The Indian government actually okayed the trial in five cities recently in March 2017. I hope we thought through the ingredients of these polymer notes..
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