Vegetarians have a beef over new £5 note

by JJP

Banknote Vegan UK

Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2016


It seems the newly designed £5 polymer banknote has caused some alarm in the circles where animal products are frowned upon. News is that vegans and vegetarians are calling for the composition of the polymer notes to be changed after it was revealed that beef fat in the form of tallow is used in the production of the currency. This triggered a statement from the Bank of England, which is disturbed by a petition drawn up by a vegan and as of December 1st signed by 118,000 people.

“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.

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 five-pound note.

Innovia is now working intensively with its supply chain and will keep the Bank informed on progress towards potential solutions”. Said the Bank in a press release dated November 30th. Since the Guardian substrate used to manufacture the banknote is also widely used in the production of other currencies, will this action draw the attention of others?

Tracing the source of this report should reveal some very interesting facts. Who, for instance had access to such information and who benefits from exposing the composition of the polymer pellets used to make the new banknotes? Does anyone else smell something fishy, (sorry tallowy) here?

About Jeremy Plimmer

Jeremy Plimmer has 35 years of experience in the security related print and packaging industry working originally as sales development director for manufacturers of passports, high security print and labels and more recently as a consultant. He is a graduate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Fellow of the Institute of Minerals, Materials and Mining, chairman of the West Midlands Packaging Society as well as vice chairman of the East Midlands Packaging Society.

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About the foundation

The Product & Image Security Foundation is a non-profit making trade association which was originally formed under the name of Label & Tag Security International (LTSI) in the early 1990's.

Today it operates with more than 100 members in 27 countries and is the premier international forum for manufacturers, suppliers and users of labels, tags, packaging, identification systems, materials and systems for any form of product security, brand image protection or product traceability applications and technology.