Bank of England to continue using 'animal fat' in notes

Bank of England to continue using 'animal fat' in notes

The Bank of England announced it will continue to use chemicals derived from animal products in the polymer bank notes today.

The central bank had launched a public consultation on the material following protests, including by Hindu groups? some of whom had banned the new notes from United Kingdom temples.

But the Bank said it had to balance this "against its other public duties and priorities" and other evidence it had gathered.

It says the only viable alternative is palm oil, which has its own issues about cost and environmental sustainability.

It received responses from 3,554 people.

It said on Thursday that palm oil was the only alternative to tallow, but that this would cost 16.5 million pounds ($21.4 million) over 10 years and the Treasury said this wasn't value for money for taxpayers.

"Value for money was also a consideration in the Bank's decision".

The bank said it had not taken the decision lightly.

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Polymer banknotes are used in more than 30 countries.

It said it had chosen the polymer notes for their durability and for their ability to incorporate new security features, adding that they were better for the environment than the traditional cotton-based paper notes.

The polymer notes contain a tiny amount of tallow, which is commonly found in soap and candles, due to the production process.

Tallow is a hard, fatty substance made from rendered animal fat.

A "trace" amount usually means 0.01 per cent of the product.

More than 130,000 people signed a petition against the use of tallow to manufacture the £5 notes, which were released in September.

"As a outcome of not allowing the 5 pound notes in the temple environment, numerous temples had seen a huge decrease in their temple economy, which relies totally on donations in order to operate", it had said.

In a statement, the Bank said: "After careful and serious consideration and extensive public consultation there will be no change to the composition of polymer used for future banknotes".

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