The Bank of England Knows How Many People Are Eating Its Cash

Why it matters that the new bills aren't vegetarian.

U.K.'s Cash Gets a Plastic Makeover

Fury broke out amongst the vegetarian community in the U.K. yesterday when it emerged that the new polymer five-pound note contains traces of animal fat.

The discovery prompted an online petition for the Bank of England to make the new notes meat-free — it boasted more than 100,000  signatures at the time of writing. 

While in the grand scheme of things the outrage of the vegetably-inclined may seem something of a minor issue, there is serious data showing the scale of the risks the new fivers pose to the meat-averse.

Since 2003 nearly £1.5 million ($1.87 million) of U.K. cash has been destroyed by being chewed or eaten, the bank's own figures show. Worryingly, as the chart below suggests, this is a problem that has being getting getting worse in recent years.

With the central bank planning to make all of the U.K.'s currency polymer in the years ahead, the non-vegetarianness of the banknotes is an issue that clearly needs to be addressed

Or, people could just stop eating them.

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