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More than 100,000 people have signed a petition to end the use of tallow - a substance made from rendered animal fat - in producing the notes since the issue came to light earlier last week. Some campaigners have called for a boycott of the new notes which entered circulation in September.
An "extremely small" amount of tallow is used to make polymer pellets, which are used to create the base of the note, the BOE said. "We are aware of some people's concerns about traces of tallow," it said. "We respect those concerns and are treating them with the utmost seriousness."
The BOE plans to roll out 10-pound and 20-pound polymer bills by 2020. The new notes are more secure and the BOE expects them to last for at least 2 1/2 times longer than their paper counterparts.
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