Shocked by the new £5 note containing animal fat? Here's what else you should avoid

Thousands of products are made using animal fat - here are eight you might not have known about

Ben Chapman@b_c_chapman
Wednesday 30 November 2016 15:56
A woman surveys the new polymer £5 note
A woman surveys the new polymer £5 note

The news that the new £5 note is made using animal fat has outraged vegans, Hindus, Sikhs and others but the extent to which the boiled caracsses of animals are used in everyday products may come as even more of a shock.

The main components in rendered animal fats can be found in thousands of everyday products, and very few make that fact obvious.

Any product listing ingredients such as oleic, palmitic, stearic, palmitoleic, linoleic and myristic could be created using boiled animals' remains, unless it has a vegan symbol.

Anyone who truly wants to avoid animal fat should think twice before buying any of these:



Despite the fact that tallow is thought to cause eczema and blackheads, it is commonly found in cosmetics, including lipsticks, eye makeup, foundations, and shaving creams.

Plastic Bags

The introduction of the 5p charge passed without the predicted pandemonium at the checkouts

Another reason to buy a non-plastic bag for life - the ubiquitous carrier bag contains animal fat to stop the plastic sticking during manufacture, which is the same reason as the new £5 note.

Bike tyres


Cycling to work may be a way to reduce your carbon footprint but the rubber in many bike tyres also contains stearic acid derived from animal fat.



Yes, even kids crayons can contain processed beef fat to create the texture. It is also what gives them the distinctive “crayony” smell.

Soaps and detergents

Those who don’t like the idea of cleaning themselves with animal fat should be aware that it is a main ingredient of many bars of soap. Fabric softeners also commonly contain it, though there are lots of animal-free alternatives available.



While they don’t contain tallow, many latex products - including some condoms - contain glycerin, another substance derived from animal fat.


E171 is used as a whitener in toothpaste and a range of food products

Glycerin is also a common ingredient in many toothpastes and, though it can be made from plants it is cheaper to derive from animals, so if you don’t like using bone marrow to clean your teeth,



For similar reasons to crayons, animal fat is also found in millions of candles.

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