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Are Polish banknotes vegan?

In the recent days the world media has spread the news that the newly introduced British 5 pound denomination banknote contains animal fat. The Bank of England confirmed that ...


these banknotes contain traces of animal fat. Fat in the banknotes has the form of tallow, which is a negligible component of polymers forming the banknotes. The new British banknotes, with the image of Winston Churchill, were put into circulation on 13 September 2016 and were printed on a Guardian® polymeric substrate, which since the late 1980s has been an alternative to traditional paper banknote printing.

The Polish Securities Printing Works are now printing modernized general circulation banknotes of the "Rulers of Poland" series. In April 2014, modernized banknotes with  the face value of 10, 20, 50 and 100 zloty were released. In February 2016, modernized banknotes with a face value of 200 zloty were introduced. A 500 zloty banknote, to be put into circulation in 2017, will be added to the series.

The main goals of the modernization were to introduce modern security features against counterfeiting and better adapt banknotes to  meet the requirements of banknote receiving and accepting machines. Yet, during the modernization process, the composition of the banknote printing paper has changed. The full composition of the banknote printing paper is classified information. Yet, it is known that ingredient of vegetal and mineral origin and synthetic polymer compounds are used. As part of banknote modernization process, the only product of animal origin – gelatin was eliminated from the papermaking process. It has been replaced with a synthetic polymer.

Banknote prepress and printing are multi-stage and technologically sophisticated processes. In these processes, the Polish Securities Printing Works does not use any products of animal origin. According to the best of our knowledge none of the raw materials used contains any products of animal origin.

PWPW (Polish Security Printing Works)

1 R. Sanguszki Street
00-222 Warsaw, Poland
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tel. (+48) 22 235 20 00
fax (+48) 22 235 24 50