The New £5 Note Is Controversially Upsetting Vegetarians

We were all excited about the new £5 notes. They can survive being dropped in a cup of tea and are just the right amount of small to still be useful while staying adorable. We were chuffed when they debuted back in September but the elation didn’t last long. The new £5, much to the dismay of vegetarians and vegans, contain animal fat.

It was confirmed by the Bank of England earlier this week that the blue polymer notes contains tallow, a substance made from animal fat that is used in the manufacturing of candles and soap.

Anyone who’s watched Fight Club will know what’s going on here…


Image credit: Rex

At the time of writing the petition against the fiver has 116,000 supporters. Claiming that the manufacturing using tallow is “unacceptable to millions of vegans, vegetarians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others in the UK”. And that’s a totally valid point.

So what’s the Bank of England going to do about it? A spokesperson for the bank said that they are taking concerns about the new notes with “utmost seriousness” after the animal fat ingredient “had only just come to light”.

“This issue has only just come to light, and the Bank did not know about it when the contract was signed.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s always somebody else’s fault.


The animal fat used is typically beef which doesn’t make things any better, it’s just a good idea to know your enemy.

As The Independent report, Innovia, the company that made the note, said it used the substance to give the notes their anti-static and anti-slip properties, and pointed out that thousands of products contain tallow. The argument falls apart when you consider that nobody has an alternative to sterling. That’s no option for vegetarians when it comes to cold cash,

Nobody’s sure how the Bank of England are going to dig themselves out of this weird hole. We can only wait and see!