There has been an uproar among vegans, vegetarians and animal rights activists on social media following the Bank of England’s revelation that the new plastic £5 note contains tallow, a component of animal fat.
In addition to concern from vegans and vegetarians, Hindus, Sikhs and Jains also criticised the inclusion of animal material in the currency's design.
The plastic five pound note, which only entered circulation in the UK mid-September, is set to replace paper fivers by May 2017. Yet many are now against the latest design after its contents used in production were confirmed.
The Bank of England replied to a concerned individual on Twitter.
@Thunderoad75 Hi Annie, there is a trace of tallow in the polymer pellets used in the base substrate of the polymer £5 notes.
— Bank of England (@bankofengland) November 28, 2016
A petition for tallow to be removed from the new five pound notes, saying it was ‘unacceptable’, has so far amassed over 17,000 supporters. Furthermore, others have been voicing their disgust at the unusual news on social media.
One Twitter user wrote: “Horrified to discover this-absolutely appalling!”
Another said: "Don't understand why the Bank of England decided to use meat products in the new £5 note. It's totally unnecessary and I'm frankly disgusted.”
A third added: “So unnecessary in 2016! I will no longer be accepting these notes.”
Although the new design is claimed to make the note more durable, safer and cleaner, the tallow issue has seen several individuals refuse to use or accept the new notes due to the process in which it was made.
On the petition, it was queried as to "why would a piece of money ever need to contain something from an animal? ridiculous. surely theres substitutes and materials that can do the exact same thing".