By Gem Childe on 7th Aug 2017
The Carbon Trust has revealed that the new £5 and £10 notes have lower carbon footprints than previous paper versions.
It follows the unveiling of the £10 note by the Bank of England this month. The carbon footprints are said to be 16 per cent lower (for £5 notes) and eight per cent (£10) lower than before, over a full life cycle.
The new £10 note, featuring a portrait of Jane Austen, will be issued on September 14 and has been described by the Bank's governor, Mark Carney, as “safer, stronger and cleaner”.
The polymer banknote is designed to last 2.5 times longer than current paper notes and is more difficult to forge. Both notes have been certified under the Carbon Trust's Carbon Footprint Label.
The carbon reductions are mainly due to the extended lifetime of the polymer versions, with the £10 note expected to last five years rather than two years for paper banknotes.
This means that the Royal Mint can print fewer notes to replace those damaged in circulation. Fewer resources are used in production, therefore lowering emissions. Old polymer notes can also be fully recycled.
Paper banknotes can still be used by the public but these will gradually be pulled from circulation. A new £20 note featuring landscape artist J.M.W Turner will be released in 2020. The new £5, which is already in circulation, features the image of Winston Churchill.