The Bank of England worked with PE INTERNATIONAL to assess the environmental impacts of their current paper banknotes and comparing them with polymer banknotes. Polymer showed benefits over cotton paper for all the main phases of the life cycle.
For the majority (six from seven) of the indicators covered by the study showed polymer banknotes have a lower environmental impact than paper banknotes.
Following the results of the study, the Bank of England is now considering the introduction of polymer for the recently announced new Sir Winston Churchill and Jane Austen notes. Bank of England will consult the public before making any final decisions, to make sure that the proposed change will meet with broad public acceptance. A final decision will be announced in December 2013.