The Bank of England’s new plastic £5 note has caused outrage among vegan and vegetarian communities after it was revealed that the note contains animal fat in the form of tallow.
Although the new note has been in circulation for around two months, the bank confirmed on Twitter that tallow, a rendered form of animal fat sometimes used in soaps and candles, is present in “trace” amounts, according to DailyMail.
@SteffiRox there is a trace of tallow in the polymer pellets used in the base substrate of the polymer £5 notes
— Bank of England (@bankofengland) November 28, 2016
A petition has launched urging the bank to stop the use of tallow in its currency production process. The petition has gained more than 118,000 supporters to date.
“We are aware of some people’s concerns about traces of tallow in our new five pound note. We respect those concerns and are treating them with the utmost seriousness.
“This issue has only just come to light, and the Bank did not know about it when the contract was signed.”
According to the statement, the bank’s supplier, Innovia, uses an “extremely small amount” of tallow to create polymer pellets that make up the base substrate of the note.
Innovia is now “working intensively” to find a “potential solution.”
The use of tallow in currency production has also been confirmed by the Bank of Canada and is present in Australian banknotes, Huffington Post Canada reported.
Yup, Canadian money 'may' contain meat - Bank of Canada confirms. pic.twitter.com/ORfP7oqB2e
— As It Happens (@cbcasithappens) November 29, 2016