Vegetarians Will Be Angry About The Latest Banknotes

Photo: Joe Giddens/WPA Pool/Getty Images
Vegans and vegetarians were outraged when news emerged in November that the plastic £5 note contains traces of animal fat. More than 130,00 people also signed a petition calling on the Bank of England to stop using animal products in currency, suggesting it's an issue many people care about, and not just religious groups and animal lovers. However, despite the huge public outcry, the Bank of England has announced that the £5 note won't be withdrawn and a new £10 note, also containing tallow (a fatty substance derived from beef or mutton), will continue to be rolled out as planned in September, the BBC reported. The bank said "an extremely small amount of tallow" was used early on in the production of the polymer pellets, which were used to create the notes. It would therefore be "appropriate" to keep the £5 note, in its current form, in circulation, it said. The cost of producing new notes would also be an issue, the bank added. "Reprinting these notes on a new substrate would mean incurring these costs again. It would also require a further £50,000 for the secure destruction of the existing stock." The bank has spent £46m on printing the £5 notes, and £24m so far on printing 275 million new £10 notes, it said. The Bank did say, however, that it's working with its polymer supplier to "determine what alternatives might be available" for the current note and the upcoming Jane Austen £10 polymer note. The campaigners behind the petition argued that using tallow in the notes was "unacceptable to millions of vegans, vegetarians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others in the UK". Sikhs, who are strictly vegetarian, and Hindus, who believe cows are sacred, have argued that the animal fat in the notes is "offensive". Many have urged the notes be banned from temples, which don't allow meat products, the BBC reported.

More from Global News

R29 Original Series