Bank of England upsets vegetarians with new note

New note

The Bank of England (BoE) has confirmed through Twitter that the new polymer five pound notes contain tallow, which is made from animal fat.

This revelation has upset vegetarians and vegans. In response to this news some vegetarians have set up a petition at to remove the tallow from the notes.

Three years ago the Bank of England caused controversy when it announced that Elizabeth Fry would make way for Winston Churchill on the £5 note, thereby eradicating women from paper money.  The Florence Nightingale £10 note was withdrawn in 1994.

Eventually, the BoE stated that Jane Austen’s features would grace the new £10 note, which is due to come into circulation in the summer of 2017. So perhaps there is hope for UK veggies that the Bank will think of some other way of producing its paper money.

Update for 1 December: The BoE has released a statement, which says: “We are aware of some people’s concerns about traces of tallow in our new five pound note. We respect those concerns and are treating them with the utmost seriousness.

“Innovia [the supplier] is now working intensively with its supply chain and will keep the Bank informed on progress towards potential solutions.”

The statement also says that the tallow used is a “small amount” and that “the Bank did not know about it when the contract was signed.”

Your Comments

In common with a significant minority, I'm allergic to nickel in the coinage but I do not make a fuss about it. Just find ways of avoiding the problem. The vegans and veggies should just learn to live with tallow in the banknotes.

Good grief I really have heard it all  now. Maybe these people should go out and get a life.

I have a life, which I live as a vegetarian. I am horrified that animals are suffering so that we can have longer lasting plastic banknotes. We will continue to campaign against this form of animal cruelty despite people who tell us to go and get a life simply because they disagree with our lifestyle. 

"I am horrified that animals are suffering so that we can have longer lasting plastic banknotes"??? Unbelievable. Yes by all means you be a vegitarian but don't try to drive your doctrine down other peoples throats if you will pardon the pun!!

Use of animal fat was not acceptable in 1857, sparking the Indian Mutiny, and it certainly isn't now. 


The government has failed in its duty of care as they should have ensured that our currency, which is expected to be used by everyone, is suitable for everyone to use.  


Including tallow as an ingredient should not have made it to the drawing board, let alone the production and distribution stage! This clearly contravenes vegetarian principles and transgresses the tenets of several religions. The notes must be withdrawn to avoid this continuing affront to peoples' beliefs. In the meantime shopkeepers etc may wish to increase their stock of coins when people refuse to accept tainted notes in their change. 


This retrograde step has already lead to some, principled, establishments declaring that they will NOT accept such tainted notes.