Animal product in new £5 note labelled “offensive”

In a world filled with various online petitions you’d be hard pressed to discover a more unusual entry than the one requesting the Bank of England change its brand new £5 notes. The plastic polymer that gives the offering its flexibility has been found to contain animal waste products. Now Sikh activist Jagdish Singh is calling the notes “extremely offensive”, joining a number of leading Hindus and Sikhs urging that they be banned from entering temples, where meat products are forbidden.

Critics say that the tallow – which is derived from pork, beef or mutton – can be replaced by a plant-based substance just as easily. The Bank of England has responded to confirm that the notes contain traces of tallow and that it is treating the situation with “utmost seriousness” and is working towards a solution. Leaders at other temples have urged worshippers to dispose of the fivers by giving them to charities.

“Every time I come across a £5 note I’ll be reminded that it contains meat by-product,” Singh told the BBC. Gauri Das, Managing Director at the Bhaktivedanta Manor Hindu temple in Watford, added: “Our ethos is not to harm animals. It’s problematic for us because we’re implicated in the process. So it’s immediately become a matter of concern for our community.”

According to Vice News, the trace of tallow in a £5 is less than 100 parts per million, or 0.01%. A £5 note weighs approximately 0.7g, meaning there is 0.00007g of tallow present in one note. By the time all of the old £5 notes have been phased out there will be 329 million new £5 notes, equating to around 23kg of tallow. The amount of tallow gleaned from the average cow is 40kg.

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