The Bank of England (BoE) has heeded calls by vegans, vegetarians and members of Britain’s Indian community to change its new plastic £5 note after revelations that the notes were made using animal fat.
The BoE announced on Wednesday that, Innovia, the Australian company which manufactures the notes, is looking at “potential solutions” to the issue.
The news that the new notes contained traces of Tallow – beef or mutton fat that congeals that room temperature – caused outrage among vegetarians and sparked a backlash within the UK’s British Indian community.
An online petition calling for the notes to be changed gathered more than 100,000 signatures.
“We are aware of some people’s concerns about traces of tallow in our new five pound note,” the Bank, which is led by Governor Mark Carney, said. “We respect those concerns and are treating them with the utmost seriousness.”
The note, the first from the Bank of England to be printed on polymer – though not the UK’s first – was introduced in September and is seen by many as heralding the beginning of the end for paper money.