Usually when someone tells you “your money is no good here” it’s because they want to give you something for free. Not the case at a vegetarian restaurant in Cambridge, England. Sharon Meijland, owner of the Rainbow Café said she would not accept new polymer £5 notes at her restaurant because Innovia, the company that makes the polymer uses tallow, rendered fat, in its production.
Though they were first thought to be a move away from paper money and contain only trace amounts of animal product, the tallow-laced notes have not been without broader controversy. Morrisey, never one to be particularly shy when it comes to his feelings about animals, said he thought anybody who believed the new bill was a good idea ought to donate their own bodies for future money production. And a petition demanding the Bank of England remove the tallow from its bank notes currently has close to 130,000 signatures.
But Meijland has gotten a lot of pushback. As The Guardian noted, she has received messages calling her stance an “over-reaction,” “hypocritical” and “embarrassing.” She plans to stick with her decision to refuse the notes though, and the pressure continues mount on Innovia, to change its methods. The Bank of England said Innovia is currently considering ways to handle the blowback. In a statement the Bank said, “Innovia is now working intensively with its supply chain and will keep the Bank informed on progress towards potential solutions.”
Until then, diners at the Rainbow Café will just have to find another way to pay.