A better choice for the environment

Environmental sustainability is something that concerns everyone. And there are steps everyone can take, whether that is reducing carbon footprint, decreasing reliance on plastics and petrochemicals, to sourcing more ethical goods and products.

Sustainability is certainly high on the agenda of Central Banks and those in charge of producing money.

Here are the facts you may not have known about the environmental sustainability of your money:

Paper banknotes are made from natural materials

Paper banknotes are plant-based and comprised of a combination of natural fibres such as cotton, linen and similar materials. For example, banknotes in the Philippines and Japan use a plant called abaca. The natural materials used for paper banknotes are sourced from farmers committed to creating high quality natural products and protecting the land that they use for their livelihood.

Paper banknotes are sustainably sourced

Most cotton and linen created by farmers is used by the textile industry. The natural fibres used for making paper money are offcuts from the process of making the clothes we wear. These offcuts are too short for spinning into thread, but ideal for banknotes. This is much more environmentally friendly than the plastic banknotes, which starts as a petrochemical, before being turned into plastic pellets and then turned into money.

Paper banknotes decompose

Plant-based and renewable, paper banknotes can be recycled and composted. Once a paper banknote is taken out of circulation, it is not simply thrown away. It is part of a circular economy, where the raw materials are returned to farmers. The banknotes are securely pulped and turned into compost, which prevents the materials from decaying and releasing harmful greenhouse gases. The compost is used by farmers to grow more organic materials or help put food on our tables.