Resisting coffee, tears, bites and marmite, the U.K.’s new polymer £5 note is resilient.
But there is one problem. Its polymer is composed of tallow with a trace of animal fat.
Below, the Bank of England confirms the tallow that has the fat:
The U.K.’s new plastic money was supposed to be a good investment. With a 5-year life span, it lasts 3 years longer than its predecessor and has state-of-the-art security features. Dirt and tear resistant, it emerged unscathed from coffee spills and a tray of chicken curry.
But it appears that it could be vulnerable to attacks by vegans. People who stay away from all forms of meat-related products say they won’t be able to avoid the £5 note. As a result, they want meatless money. The Bank of England says they are working on changing their money recipe.
I would assume that the U.K.’s new bank notes will be meat-free:
Our Bottom Line: Characteristics of Money
To a Yap islander, in 1903 a 12-foot limestone wheel was money. As small as a foot in diameter and as large as twelve, the wheels were what they spent. With smaller transactions, you just inserted a pole through the wheel’s center hole and took it to whomever you owed money. With larger wheels, you did not even need to move them.
So yes, limestone wheels and rectangular currency can be called money–just like seashells and tobacco leaves. The reason? They all share three basic characteristics:
- A medium of exchange. (People willingly use the commodity for exchange.)
- A store of value. (In the future, it still will have relatively comparable purchasing power.)
- A measure of value. (When someone says one dollar, you know what that means.)
I wonder if the U.K.’s new £5 note will be less of a medium of exchange because of the vegan protest.
My sources and more: Great Britain’s new £5 note is described in this BBC report while Quartz and the NY Times had some additional tidbits. Please note that some of our Yap money post was previously published at econlife.