Bank of England in talks with £5 note supplier over use of animal fat

The supplier of the new plastic £5 notes has been forced into a rethink after vegan and vegetarian campaigners complained that animal fat was used during the note’s production process, reports The Guardian.

After coming in for criticism earlier this week over the use of the derivative, known as tallow, in the polymer note, the Bank of England said on Wednesday that it was “aware of some people’s concerns” and that it would treat them with the “utmost respect”.

The Bank said it was in talks with the supplier, Innovia, which was looking at “potential solutions”. In a statement released on Wednesday, it said: “This issue has only just come to light, and the Bank did not know about it when the contract was signed.

“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.”

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.

There was fury among vegetarians and vegans following confirmation by the Bank that the notes contained tallow.

Doug Maw, who started a petition against its use, said he was “disgusted” a more suitable alternative had not been sourced. The 47-year-old hotel worker from Keswick in Cumbria, said: “There is no excuse for it. There has got to be other ways of making money without using animal products.”

More than 110,000 people have since signed the petition.