As we all know already, feminist badass and legendary author Jane Austen has replaced Charles Darwin on the £10 note – making her the only woman to feature on our currency at the moment (other than, y’know, Queen Elizabeth II).
And, at a first glance, the new design seems like a vast improvement on the old one. Not only is it the stuff of feminist deams, but it’s also tear-proof, water-proof, and – if you bag the right one – potentially worth thousands of pounds.
However, just like the new £5 notes, there is a controversial element to the new design.
The Bank of England, responding to a question on Twitter, has admitted that the new design contains tallow, a substance made from animal fat that is often used in the making of soap and candles.
“There is a trace of tallow in the polymer pellets used in the base substrate of the polymer £5 notes,” they said.
A petition demanding that the substance is no longer used in the new tenner has already gained traction, with over 130,000 signatures already.
Slamming the Bank of England’s “astonishing arrogance, lack of direction and failure to comply with basic human rights,” the note has been dubbed “offensive to large sections of the public” – including vegetarians, vegans, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others in the UK.
Last year, the inventor of the notes hit back at the protestors, branding them “absolutely stupid” in a radio interview.
Professor David Solomon, an Australian inventor who pioneered the country’s polymer notes back in 1988, admitted to Australian radio show 2GB that there were “trivial amounts” of animal fat in the notes.
And discussing the fast-growing petition to have the animal fat removed, he said of protesters, “it’s stupid. It’s absolutely stupid.”
Solomon went on to list the benefits of the new polymer notes over the traditional paper ones, citing hygiene and the environment as main reasons for the switch-over.
“It picks up less drugs than paper notes and you don’t chop down trees,” he told the station. “It’s more hygenic than a paper note by a long way.”
Images: Rex Features