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Bank of Canada admits animal fat in our polymer bank notes

Polymer bank notes are shown during a news conference at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa on April 30, 2013.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the Bank of Canada is looking for a woman to be featured on a new bank note starting in 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The Bank of England’s new plastic 5-pound note is stronger, cleaner and safer – but apparently not suitable for vegetarians.

Vegans and vegetarians are calling for the new bank notes, which have only been in circulation for two months, to be replaced because they are made with a substance derived from animal fat.

The Bank of England confirmed on Twitter that the notes contain “a trace of a substance known as tallow” – a rendered form of animal fat, processed from suet, which is sometimes used in soaps and candles.

An online petition against the notes has been getting attention Wednesday. The petition says the use of tallow is “unacceptable to millions of vegans, vegetarians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others in the U.K.”

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.

The Bank adds they are “actively” following up with Innovia, who are investigating further and will report back to them “as to their next steps.”