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Controversy over the new £5 polymer note

I just finished a segment of "News in Slow Spanish" ( which I am using for language study) from December 6. They had an interesting story which I had not heard before--- the controversy surrounding the new £5 note, because it contains tallow ( animal fat) to improve its water-resistance. This is unacceptable to vegans and many religious groups ( the news story in Spanish mentioned that it has been banned from Hindu temples)

Apparently a petition to change the composition is circulating and as of the date of this article had gained 120,000 signatures.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/dec/02/5-animal-fat-bank-note-british-vegetarians-being-stupid-says-inventor

Posted by
743 posts

In other £5 note news.... a scottish artist has done 4 miniture portraits on 4 of the notes and let em loose , apparently they are worth thousands each. Check your change

Posted by
1063 posts

Yes, it's a bit of old news.......They're now called "beefy" fivers.:-)

Posted by
31303 posts

The MC of one of the recent awards shows (might have been James Corden?) used the new £5 note as a joke, with some remark about "having more meat than a fiver". I expect that it will be source of jokes for awhile.

We also have polymer bank notes here but i'm not sure if they also contain tallow? I've never checked and not too concerned about it.

Posted by
4864 posts

This was in the UK news a couple of months ago. The BBC said something like a tablespoon of fat has been used in the millions of new notes produced to date, so a minuscule amount in each.

If you are vegetarian, don't eat them!

Posted by
4536 posts

0.003% to be precise. It is the source of one of the chemicals that provides the 'slippiness' - the same as used in playing cards.

It isn't just Bank of England notes that has this.

Posted by
31303 posts

To use a reference from Shakespeare, this seems to be much ado about nothing.

Posted by
3469 posts

If you think about where your money has been before you got it, there are probably many more even more objectionable things smeared into the bills. A little clean beef tallow is nothing.

During the late 1980's US$20 bills had so much cocaine embedded into them from their use associated with the drug, you could almost get a contact high from them especially the bills found in the more drug saturated parts of the US like Miami. :-)

Posted by
26013 posts

emma it looks like your RS account has been hacked by a dealer

Posted by
192 posts

"During the late 1980's US$20 bills had so much cocaine embedded into them from their use associated with the drug, you could almost get a contact high from them especially the bills found in the more drug saturated parts of the US like Miami. :-)"

Right! Cause dang it, facts should never get in the way of a good story ;-).

Posted by
3469 posts

Well, I read it on the internet so it must be true, right? :-)

Posted by
3898 posts

They'd better avoid Canada then because all our bills are polymer! (And I hate them - just because once you fold them, it's hard to get them flat again...lol).

Do these people also refuse to drive in vehicles with leather seats? Or eat at restaurants with leather-topped stools or banquettes? Much ado about nothing. They'll have to move to some deserted tropical island to avoid all animal products...SMH.

Ken - yup...Following a number of inquiries, the Bank of Canada also confirmed that its polymer bank notes also contain animal fat.

“Our supplier of polymer substrate, Innovia Security, has confirmed to us that these additives may include extremely small amounts of tallow,” the Bank said in a statement released Wednesday.

Posted by
3469 posts

You have until May this year to get rid of your old £5 notes through the normal means of spending it. After that, you have to exchange at a bank.

Details in the linked site:
http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/Pages/about/faqs.aspx

There is also a new £1 coin coming out in March this year. The old £ coins will be withdrawn in October similarly to how the £5 is being done in May.

Posted by
448 posts

"The old £ coins will be withdrawn in October similarly to how the £5 is being done in May."

I have about 20 1 pound coins that were left over from my last two visits to England. I probably won't be back until 2018 or 2019. Will I be able to exchange these at a London bank? No bank in the Seattle area will buy these.

Posted by
3469 posts

From what I read, yes, the Bank of England will buy all old coins and notes at face value. A pound is a pound.

Yes, no bank in the US will buy foreign coins and will only deal with paper money if anything. You might look into a Seattle area travel club meeting and see if anyone there wants the coins. You should be able to sell them at face value to someone going to England soon.

Edit: OK, guess I shouldn't rely on memory. You can probably deposit the old pound coins if you have an account depending on your bank in England. So, if you don't have an account and are not planning a visit to Great Britain, best to find a different way to get rid of your old pound coins prior to October.

From the Royal Mint:
What should I do with my existing £1 coins after legal tender status is removed?
Following demonetisation, the current round £1 coin can continue to be deposited into a customer’s account, either business or personal, at most High Street Banks including RBS, NatWest, Ulster, HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds, Santander, Nationwide, Clydesdale, Yorkshire Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and The Post Office.

It may be possible to exchange £1 coins at these banks and the Post Office provided you hold an account with them. Specific arrangements may vary from bank to bank, including deposit limits. It is recommended that you consult with your bank directly.

http://www.thenewpoundcoin.com

Posted by
4536 posts

The Bank of England has no role in handling coins; this is the job of the Royal Mint. They don't deal with the general public directly at all (apart from selling expensive special issues), only banks / and the Post Office. Some banks take in small amounts of demonetised coins for their customers but are unlikely to do this for someone they don't have a relationship with.

Posted by
7124 posts

Polymer notes are hardly a new thing ...

Wikipedia says ... Polymer banknotes are banknotes made from a polymer such as biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP). Such notes incorporate many security features not available in paper banknotes, including the use of metameric inks. Polymer banknotes last significantly longer than paper notes, causing a decrease in environmental impact and a reduced cost of production and replacement. Modern polymer banknotes were first developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and The University of Melbourne. They were first issued as currency in Australia during 1988 (coinciding with Australia's bicentennial year). In 1996 Australia switched completely to polymer banknotes.

Posted by
12344 posts

So my £1 coins will be worthless if I do not spend them before October? We will be passing through Heathrow in September, so I guess I better spend them at the airport!

Posted by
4536 posts

So my £1 coins will be worthless if I do not spend them before
October? We will be passing through Heathrow in September, so I guess
I better spend them at the airport!

Yes that ought to work out for you,

I've just remembered my dad realising he'd been given two half crowns in change on 31 Dec 1969 - the day before they were demonetised. He quickly went out again to spend them on something else before the shops closed.