Bank of England says animal fat will stay in banknotes

Animal fat to stay in future banknotes, Bank of England concludes

The decision to keep trace amounts of the animal fat, known as tallow, in the £5 notes - and soon the £20 notes - also came about when the Bank discovered that many British consumers regularly use and handle other products containing tallow with no apparent objections.

The bank says it will continue to issue polymer notes that contain tallow, a rendered form of animal fat.

On Thursday, the Bank of England, which prints bills circulated in England and Wales, said that it would continue to use the polymer for the 5-pound note, worth about $6.50, introduced past year, as well as the £10 bill that debuts in September and the £20 note that will enter circulation by 2020.

A spokesperson told the BBC: "The Bank has had to balance these responses against its other public duties and priorities as well as the other evidence gathered over the past months". Suppliers of the oil had been unable to commit to sourcing "the highest level of sustainable palm oil at this time", the BOE said in a statement on Thursday.

The Bank made the decision despite 88% of respondents being against the use of animal-derived additives.

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The BoE said that as well as the environmental concerns about palm oil, cost was a consideration: the switch would add about 16.5 million pounds ($21.45 million) to the cost of making bank notes over the next 10 years. They advised that they do not believe switching to palm oil derivatives would achieve value for money for taxpayers, the bank said.

The Bank also took public comment.

This additional cost would have been paid for by the tax payer, leading the HM Treasury to recommend that switching to palm oil would not he value for money for tax payers.

Hindu Council UK, an umbrella body, had highlighted that many Hindus were concerned due to the animal-derived products in the new notes, because one of the key virtues in the Hindu faith is Ahimsa or the practice of non-violence.

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