The new £5 note issued by the Bank of England has angered the vegetarians after it was revealed that it contains traces of animal fat.
The note entered circulation in September 2016 but the information regarding the presence of the meat substance emerged on 28 November 2016 following a tweet by the Bank of England confirming the existence of the controversial substance.
• The new five pound notes are printed on polymer- a thin plastic film, which is more durable and safer.
• Present within the polymer pallets used in the creation of the thin polymer is a substance called ‘Tallow’, which is derived from animal fat.
• It is mostly used in the manufacture of candles and soap.
• An online petition demanding a ban on such substances in currency production has gained more than 90,000 signatures. It was initiated by Doug Maw.
• The petition calls the inclusion unacceptable to millions of vegans, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and other vegetarian communities living in the UK.
• According to the petitioners, the presence of the substance completely disregards the goal of most vegetarians to avoid harming animals.
• People are also upset about the fact that it took the authorities two months to come out clean on the matter.
However, the new note is not the only one that is based on the polymer. New polymer notes of £10 and £20 are also scheduled to come out in 2017 and 2020 respectively. The decision to shift from paper to polymer was taken in order to ensure that the notes last longer, stay cleaner and are harder to copy. According to bank estimates, the new notes will last 2.5 times longer than paper.