The Bank of England has resisted complaints from pressure groups representing some vegetarian and religious organisations by taking the decision to keep the new-style plastic £5 note in circulation. Furthermore, it is set to be joined in September by a new £10 note manufactured by the same process. The various groups had claimed to be offended by the fact that animal fat was used in the manufacturing process.
The Bank of England cited financial considerations in its decision, explaining that it had spent £70 million printing the new notes, and the cost to the taxpayer of destroying the existing stock would be considerable. However, it will consider sourcing plant-based alternatives to the animal fats in preparation for production of a forthcoming new £20 note in the year 2020.
Meanwhile a new 12-sided £1 coin is due to come into circulation in March. It has been designed to make it much harder to counterfeit than the current coin, which will be withdrawn from use in October. There is however no truth in the suggestion that the new coin will be made of chocolate!