The Bank of England (BoE) has announced its supplier for the new £5 note is working on solutions after it emerged the polymer notes contain an animal product.
A petition on change.org has gathered more than 100,000 signatures in less than two days against the use of tallow in the note.
Petition organiser Doug Maw said: “The new £5 notes contain animal fat in the form of tallow. This is unacceptable to millions of vegans, vegetarians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others in the UK.
“We demand that you cease to use animal products in the production of currency that we have to use.”
Dominic Heaton, finance and procurement director at Innovia Films, told SM: “Resins used to make polymer banknotes, which we source from suppliers, contain small amounts of additives that act as stabilisers, anti-block, anti-static or slip agents or as other functional processing aids.
“These additives, which are important for the final properties of the banknote and are commonly used across the plastics industry, make up less than 1% of the resin and will include tiny traces of tallow.
“We are currently in active discussions with our suppliers for them to develop alternative additives using vegetable based ingredients.”
The BoE said it was treating the concerns “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,” said the bank in a statement.
“Information recently provided by our supplier, Innovia, and its supply chain shows that an extremely small amount of tallow is used in an early stage of the production process of polymer pellets, which are then used to create the base substrate for the £5 note.
“Innovia is now working intensively with its supply chain and will keep the Bank informed on progress towards potential solutions.”
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