The Bank of England has said that the supplier of its new £5 note is working on "potential solutions" to the use of animal-based tallow in the banknote, BBC reported on 30 November.

“We are aware of some people's concerns about traces of tallow in our new £5 note. The Bank did not know about it when the contract was signed and Innovia is now working intensively with its supply chain and will keep the Bank informed on progress towards potential solutions.”

The Bank said the problem "had only just come to light" and it was treating the issue with "utmost seriousness".

A petition with more than 100,000 signatures has called on the Bank to "cease to use animal products in the production of currency that we have to use", stating that tallow is "unacceptable to millions of vegans, vegetarians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others in the UK".

The new £5 note was introduced in September and is made of a flexible polymer plastic.

It is the first ever Bank of England note to be printed on this material and is stronger and more resistant and expected to last an average of five years, compared to two years previously.