Technology

Wed, 24 Oct, 2018Danielle McCarthy

The surprising ingredient found in Aussie banknotes

The surprising ingredient found in Aussie banknotes

Although Australia was the first country in the world to produce banknotes from plastic (polymer), one surprising ingredient has been confirmed by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Our currency uses tallow, which is rendered animal fat from sheep, pigs and cows, as a “slip agent” to prevent static and friction.

The Reserve Bank of Australia confirmed that a tiny amount of animal fat is used.

While the secret ingredient has been used since the mid-1990s, it only became known when Britain adopted the same technology to produce its £5 note last year, resulting in various protests.

The use of tallow in banknotes has been slammed by vegans and some religions, including Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs and Jains.

A recent video by social commentators Project Night revealed that tallow is used to make banknotes in 23 countries, such as Canada, Malaysia and Singapore.

The video has since had 5000 shares and over 679,000 views on social media.

After watching the video, one user wrote: “That is really horrible to hear. But, we can all limit cruelty of animals in our daily life by going vegan and using cruelty free products. It’s sooo easy.”

“Hopefully spreading this video will help people know more about it!”

However, others shared a different point of view.

“Isn’t it better to just use natural animal parts rather than creating synthetic versions of it? We are part of this giant ecosystem, if we don’t eat animals, someone else / some other animals do.”

One orthodox Jew said they found no issue with using tallow in money.

They wrote: “As an orthodox jew … we are not allowed to EAT pork. We can touch it and use it. It being in money is not a problem at all.”

Tallow is found in a number of household items including soap, candles, plastic bags, moisturisers and some fabric softeners.

Animal by-products can also be found in some clothing and cosmetic lines.

There has been no suggestion that there will be a revision of the production of banknotes.

Do you think an alternative ingredient should be used in the production of banknotes? Let us know in the comments below. 

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