The design of the UK’s new £10 note has been fully revealed today by Bank of England [BoE] Governor Mark Carney – and like the £5 note, it contains beef tallow, making it unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans.
The note – which features author Jane Austen – is expected to come into circulation in September.
Despite outcry from some veggies, vegans and religious groups following the release of the fiver last year (including a petition signed by more than 135,000 people), the BoE decided it would be too expensive to make the new notes without tallow.
When the issue was raised, according to a Bank spokesperson the note had already gone into production, and nearly £25 million had been spent printing the new £10.
The spokesperson said: “Weighing the considerations, the Bank has now concluded that it would be appropriate to keep the £5 polymer note in circulation and to issue the £10 polymer note as planned, in September.”
Despite the note containing the animal by-product, a spokesperson for The Vegan Society said the Society was ‘pleased that the Bank of England has been transparent in their response to this important issue, and has taken the beliefs of the public into consideration’.
They added: “We look forward to the consultation around the £20 note and hope that any future bank notes will be free from ingredients produced through harming animals.
“We hope that other companies will follow this positive example and review the use of animals in their products.”
A new £20 note is due to be introduced in 2020. The BoE has said it will ‘look into plant-based substitutes like palm oil or coconut oil’.
Palm oil is also a controversial substance when it comes to animal and environmental issues, so this announcement was met with some disappointment.
Doug Maw – who started the £5 note petition – spoke to the Bank’s chief cashier to discuss the issue.
Speaking to the BBC afterwards he said: “In my meeting I highlighted palm oil as something they should avoid doing. The destruction of habitat caused by over-production of palm oil is contributing to the near-extinction of the orangutan.”