UK £5 note – BoE in talks with currency supplier Innovia to make it meat-free.
Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank all confirmed that their notes contain no animal fat – unlike the Bank of England’s version.
The English notes were revealed to contain tallow, a substance normally derived from beef and mutton that can be used to make candles and soap. The news provoked anger in the vegetarian community, with many petitioning the Bank to have the substance removed.
The Bank of England says the organisation is treating the concerns with “utmost seriousness” and was working with its manufacturer to find a solution.
Vegan activist Doug Maw, writing for i, said “no vegan, vegetarian, Sikh, Jain or Hindu would knowingly use a product containing tallow” and called the decision to use the substance “unethical, unfathomable and unacceptable”.
Scotland’s notes have been produced in a way that does not involve the “trace amounts” of tallow in the English notes’ plastic “substrate”.
A spokesperson for the Royal Bank of Scotland said: “We can confirm the Royal Bank of Scotland’s new £5 polymer note contains no known animal products”, while the Bank of Scotland backed up the confirmation.
Meanwhile, a Hindu temple near Leicester has urged worshippers not to donate the new £5 notes to charitable causes, saying the discovery of animal fat had caused “anger” in the community.
Many religious Hindus are vegetarian and eating meat before attending temple is strongly discouraged, while cows are held to be sacred by many. Beef is traditionally involved in the production of tallow, the animal fat involved in the polymer notes.
“No-one was informed and it’s been thrown upon us,” Vibhooti Acharya, president of Shree Sanatan Mandir temple, told the BBC.