The Bank of England is currently holding a consultation to seek the views of the public on the use of palm oil in polymer banknotes. After the recent controversy over the use of tallow in the £5 note from vegan and religious groups, the bank commissioned a report regarding the upcoming £20 note (to be printed in 2020) and for future reprints of the £5 and £10. Of course, they found palm oil to be a cheaper alternative than other options, such as coconut oil. The life of several precious species must not be cheapened in this manner – we have to stand together at critical points such as this and do whatever we can. If we don't at least try, how can we forgive ourselves when it's all gone?
Palm oil, if you didn't already know, is a major cause of climate change and deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia. Palm oil is also the leading cause of orangutan extinction, and in addition, several other species will be made endangered or extinct. The list of critically endangered species due to palm oil include The Bornean orangutan, Sumatran orangutan, Sumatran tiger, Javan rhino (the rarest mammal on Earth, with 63 left in the wild and none in captivity), golden-mantled tree-kangaroo, Javan slow loris, pygmy tarsier, and crested macaque.
Outrageous acts of cruelty are being committed to those orangutans who remain – they are being orphaned, tortured, beaten, made to fight for entertainment, and even being forced into prostitution. The slash and burn method used to clear land for more palm oil plantations is stealing the oxygen from the air, as the burning of the trees releases all the carbon dioxide they have filtered. The palm oil peatlands are the worst contributors of greenhouse gasses, with the deforestation of the rainforests being the second. It is critical that we act now to make our voices heard. This is extremely time-sensitive as the bank are planning to close their decision on 12th May. It's time we stopped allowing the rich and powerful to put a price tag onto the planet we live on.
What you can do:
- The Bank of England is seeking public opinion on this matter – please take a couple of minutes to submit your thoughts using the link at the bottom of this page – Ensuring that this is done before midnight on May 12th. This could be the most effective action you could take.
-Write to your local MP if you are based in the UK. You can find out who they are here.
-Boycott palm oil products (see further information below)
-Spread the message amongst family and friends, asking them to do the same.
http:/www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/polymer/Pages/pc2017.aspx https:/orangutan.org/palmoil/ https:/www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/30/bank-of-england-considers-palm-oil-for-20-polymer-notes http:/www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/tree-kangaroos-extinct-palm-oil-deforestation-indonesia-asia-a7220731.html">http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/polymer/Pages/pc2017.aspx