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A row has broken out over the use of animal fat in the new plastic £5 note, with calls from some vegans and vegetarians for the production process to be changed.
A petition has been launched calling for the use of tallow, a substance made from animal fat, in the banknotes to be stopped. The petition has attracted more than 70,000 supporters so far and will be delivered to the Bank of England.
The petition says: “The new £5 notes contain animal fat in the form of tallow. This is unacceptable to millions of vegans and vegetarians in the UK. We demand that you cease to use animal products in the production of currency that we have to use.”
The Bank of England declined to comment on the petition. A spokeswoman said the issue was the polymer that the new £5 notes are printed on, which contains tallow. The central bank buys polymer pellets from an external company, Innovia Security, which supplies banknote substrate for 80 denominations in 24 countries.
The issue came to light when the Bank responded to a question on Twitter, confirming that the polymer pellets contained traces of tallow.
Plastic money is used in many other countries, some of which have switched completely to polymer banknotes, such as Australia, Canada, Romania and Vietnam. (The Guardian)