The new £50 note will be made with animal fat - and vegans aren’t happy

Thursday, 6th June 2019, 08:39 am
Updated Thursday, 6th June 2019, 09:39 am

The new £50 notes will contain animal fat, the Bank of England has confirmed, despite previous outcry from vegan and religious groups.

The plastic notes will be made from a polymer that contains tallow - an animal byproduct - following ‘careful consideration’ from the bank as part of putting the contract out to tender.

Previously-introduced plastic £5, £10 and £20 notes also contain tallow. The initial decision, made when introducing the plastic fivers in 2016, prompted backlash and sparked a petition to revert the decision.

Polymer used in plastic will contain tallow

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However, in 2017, the bank said that it would continue to use the polymer that contains animal fat, as switching to a palm oil alternative would be too costly. The bank also claimed that such a switch would be environmentally unsustainable.

It has since also produced the new polymer £10 and £20 using the plastic, which typically contains less than 0.05 per cent of animal fat.

The contract to produce the £50 notes, along with the £5 and £10 ones, has been won jointly by banknote printer De La Rue and Australian firm CCL Secure, who will hold the contract for eight years.

£66,941 spent on public consultation

De La Rue will provide 45 per cent of the substrate for the initial launch stock of £50 notes, and CCL 55 per cent.

It was revealed in 2017 that the Bank of England spent a total of £66,941 in public consultation over the inclusion of animal fat in the bank notes between March and May.

The Bank of England said, “Within this process and after careful consideration, the Bank has decided that the composition of the polymer for the next £50 will be the same as for the current £5, £10 and £20.”

Face of £50 to be revealed soon

The Bank is also set to announce soon the face to feature on the new £50, having received nearly 230,000 nominations from the public.

Bank governor Mark Carney announced last year that the new polymer note will celebrate British achievement in science.