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Home > Banknotes > Moving to Polymer Banknotes > Composition of polymer banknotes

Composition of polymer banknotes

​The issue of animal-derived additives in Bank of England banknotes first came to light towards the end of 2016.

On the 30 November 2016, the Bank made an initial statement.

In February 2017, the Bank announced that the current polymer £5 note would remain in circulation and the new £10 note, due to be issued in September, would be printed on the same polymer material. This was accompanied by an assessment of the relevant factors in taking that decision.

It also announced that a full public consultation would be held from 30 March on the new polymer £20 and future print runs of polymer £5 and £10 note. The public consultation ran from 30 March to 12 May. This was accompanied by a consultation document and
independent report on the environmental impact of a range of additives from a consultancy firm, Efeca.

On 10 August 2017, the Bank published a response to the consultation alongside it’s decision to not change the composition of the polymer used for future notes. The new £20 note and future print runs of the polymer £5 and £10 will continue to be made from polymer manufactured using trace amounts, typically less than 0.05%, of chemicals ultimately derived from animal products.