back to article New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners

First it was vegetarians and vegans complaining about plastic banknotes. Now the Bank of England has managed to upset environmentalists at the WWF – wildlife, not wrestlers – over plans for new plastic £20 notes made using palm oil. In a public consultation on its website, the bank says that after the furore over less than one …

  1. John Styles

    Roadkill badgers

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Dolphins and polar bear cubs

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Politicians

      1. Steven Raith

        If we use politicians, then for once I'd support quantitative easing.

        More meat for the grinder, eh?

        Steven R

        1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          If we use politicians, then for once I'd support quantitative easing.

          Do you really want to have that in your hands? Ugh..

          :)

    3. Timmy B Silver badge

      RE: Roadkill badgers

      You know that's not a bad idea. They are fatty beasts and if all the fivers use just the tallow from one cow then three or four badgers will do it - that's just a couple of hours looking in the roads near me.

      The only issue is that as badgers are protected and possession of any part of them is illegal under the protection of badgers act: "A person is guilty of an offence if, except as permitted by or under this Act, he has in his possession or under his control any dead badger or any part of, or anything derived from, a dead badger."

      So, perhaps not, shame as there would be some point to all the loss on the roads.

      1. TimB

        Re: RE: Roadkill badgers

        My shaving brush is made from badger. I'd better hand myself in.

        1. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: RE: Roadkill badgers

          "My shaving brush is made from badger. I'd better hand myself in." Probably not. Most say this but are actually something like horse.

      2. ZillaOfManilla

        Re: RE: Roadkill badgers

        However it would coincide with annual Badger Cullhttps://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/16/badger-cull-kills-more-than-10000-animals-three-months-bovine-tb

        Mr May might not be happy though. https://youtu.be/5cIlr-LcFsI?t=1m

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: RE: Roadkill badgers

        "A person is guilty of an offence if, except as permitted by or under this Act, he has in his possession or under his control any dead badger or any part of, or anything derived from, a dead badger."

        I'd better hide my hat, then, it's obviously a badger

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: RE: Roadkill badgers

          But... it WOULD make for an interesting DNA based anti-forgery mechanism. Use swan fat. There's a royal connection for you.

  2. John Styles

    One of the 3 Brexit minsters - surely we don't need Johnson, Davis and Disgraced. They can draw straws.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      FFS. Give it a rest.

      1. boltar Silver badge

        "FFS. Give it a rest."

        Didn't you get the memo? Endless whinging, sobbing and moaning on social media is the Millennial version of political engagement.

        1. John Styles

          Millenial, I wish. Generation X here. No stupid beards and no enormous houses bought for 10 grand.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oleaginous

      Render down Boris's jowls?

      1. Bloodbeastterror

        Re: Oleaginous

        "Render down Boris's jowls?"

        No, Render down Boris. There should be enough flubber in there for the entire run.

    3. BarryUK

      I imagine Boris could provide a similar amount of Tallow to one cow, so problem solved.

    4. Chris King Silver badge

      SOYLENT STIRLING IS BORIS !

      That would be one way of ensuring that nobody ever handles the notes without using tongs and/or thick rubber gloves. You wouldn't want to get that sort of stupidity on you !

    5. Number6

      The Brexit stuff will hopefully be over in a couple of years, then you can ditch all of them.

  3. Jeroen Braamhaar
    Facepalm

    best solution!

    Render down all the protesters.

    1. swampdog
      Alien

      Re: best solution!

      Seems like a plan; after all, these moaners must be very boney. They obviously can't use plastic because I bet there's enough ingredients in a credit card to make both camps apoplectic. Tap 'n' bonk is obviously out for the same reason. Keeping with linen implies cotton and we can't be allowed to think "plantation". Metal money has all the old fashioned industrial baggage so it does beg the question..

      These people can't have reproduced in order to be here today. Logically, they must have had their minds altered since birth because otherwise it requires holding a contradictory life view. No sane person would do that. Thus they are either mad (so off to the loony bin with them) or they've had their minds tampered with by aliens.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: best solution!

        "Keeping with linen implies cotton"

        It implies linen. Different plant, different part of plant, different biochemistry.

        1. swampdog

          Re: best solution!

          My bad. Still implies "plantation" though. ;-)

      2. gandalfcn

        Re: best solution!

        swampdog

        I suggest you spend some time in Indonesia, before the natural habitat is totally destroyed, before gobbing of bile and untruths.

        1. Brenda McViking

          Re: best solution!

          I've been there. And Malaysia, and yeah, there isn't much natural habitat left. Then again we can talk - UK forest was systematically destroyed to the point that it is today in our quest to industrialise.

          Another 6 hectares for UK banknote production (read the consulation, that's all they'll need) won't make a blind bit of difference either way. This whole tallow thing is Parkinsons law of tiviality (the bike-sheds at a nuclear power plant argument) on steroids.

          I've submitted my response to the consultation saying as such. I had no idea there was even a Jain network in Great Britain, let alone the fact that a religion compromising 0.039% of the population should force a change of Bank of England industrial processes. How about they stop using everything made of or utilising polypropylene before they start weighing in on the debate? Relgion is a lifestyle choice, just like using contactless. And the vegetarians soon shut up once they realise their home-cooked meal contains more human flesh in parts per million than banknotes contain tallow, because they were stood sweating and moulting and flaking over it whilst they were cooking.

          Then there is the fact that this costs for making this entire argument and collecting responses is coming out of profits which otherwise go to the taxpayer.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: best solution!

            "And the vegetarians soon shut up once they realise their home-cooked meal contains more human flesh in parts per million than banknotes contain tallow, because they were stood sweating and moulting and flaking over it whilst they were cooking."
            Does their snot count too, or is that "just bacteria"?

          2. Sparkypatrick

            Re: best solution!

            The 25,000 Jains had grounds for complaint, but were hardly the voice that "[forced] a change of Bank of England industrial processes." Try considering the over 800,000 Hindus that consider cows sacred or the 2.7million Muslims that would require it to be Halal. Or if you don't care about people's religious sensibilities, how about the estimated 12% of the British population that are vegetarian or vegan?

            1. nijam

              Re: best solution!

              > how about the estimated 12% of the British population that are vegetarian or vegan?

              Tell them not to eat banknotes.

            2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

              Re: best solution!

              AIUI, ICBW, the Bank of England took very, very seriously people's complaints about the £5 note, and then decided to go on making them out of beef anyway. Or perhaps to keep the ones that were already made. After all, they are valuable plastic, and replacing them all could cost as much as £50 (not each, total).

              I'm of the opinion that people's religious and moral feelings ought to be respected when they don't coincide with yours or are even quite stupid. That is simply what tolerance means.

              And I voted for UK to leave the EU but that doesn't mean I like Boris Johnson. What is more, I have been told he's not as stupid as he seems. Frankly I then asked for evidence of that and didn't get any, but it still seems to me possible that he works hard at pretending to be incompetent rather than openly vicious.

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: best solution!

                "I'm of the opinion that people's religious and moral feelings ought to be respected when they don't coincide with yours or are even quite stupid. That is simply what tolerance means."
                Sounds good and up to a point I might even agree with you. Unfortunately, I suspect that there will be objectors to any lubricant you care to name. What then? No banknotes? How about tolerance of adherents to Daesh who appear to want to exterminate anyone who disagrees with their religion/philosophy?

                1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

                  Re:What then? No banknotes?

                  Why not stick with the paper (cotton) bank notes we've had since, oh, the end of big white fivers I duppose, and AIUI nobody minded them? Unlike these plastic whore notes. Apparently.

                  I take the point that religious tolerance is difficult to extend to the religious practice of exterminating unbelievers. The answer seems to be to require the tolerated religious people to not exterminate unbelievers just right now.

                  1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                    Re: Re:What then? No banknotes?

                    "Why not stick with the paper (cotton) bank notes we've had since, oh, the end of big white fivers I duppose, and AIUI nobody minded them? "
                    There you go! And I thought they were made from hemp paper from one of about one dozen mini-mills globally. They're mostly in Asia and the European Union and produce an estimated 120,000 tons of hemp paper a year. Most is used for cigarette papers, but a substantial percentage is added to art paper, paper for bibles* and hygiene products.

                    *The Gutenberg Bible was the first major book printed on moveable type almost six hundred years ago. It was printed on hemp paper.

          3. nijam

            Re: best solution!

            > ... systematically destroyed to the point that it is today in our quest to industrialise

            Most of it went pre-industrialisation, to build a Navy's-worth of wooden ships, and of course all the other reasons - wood for fuel, wood for house-building, clearing space for inefficient agriculture, ...

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: best solution!

              "Most of it [forest] went pre-industrialisation, to build a Navy's-worth of wooden ships, and of course all the other reasons - wood for fuel, wood for house-building, clearing space for inefficient agriculture, ..."
              You might be surprised by the amount that went in the Neolithic. It doesn't matter how efficient your agriculture is, it ain't going to happen without clearing the land of forest.

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: best solution!

                "You might be surprised by the amount that went in the Neolithic."

                Very little actually. Most clearance was well post-Neolithic.

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: best solution!

              "Most of it went pre-industrialisation"

              By and large, pre-industrial revolution, woodland was well managed for sustainability (except, of course, the word wasn't used). Coppicing made growth for fuel and material for small wooden items - implement handles, etc. - into a crop taken every few years. Felling for the navy could be a different matter but there was some panic planting of woodland for the sake of the navy just before iron ships came into being. There was also importation from the Baltic.

              The real killer was that with the replacement of wood as fuel and structural timber by coal and iron there was no need to manage woodland in the same way.

        2. swampdog

          Re: best solution!

          @gandalffcn

          You need to reset your irony, logic and humour chips. I dunno what triggered your accusation so I'm inclined to put you in the "render them all down" group: how that makes me responsible for lack of habitat escapes me!

      3. nijam

        Re: best solution!

        > ... these moaners must be very boney.

        Except that most of them are fatheads.

  4. John 110
    Coat

    WWF

    Maybe the WWF are worried that they won't have enough oil to grease all those hunky wrestlers. They have to start rubbing them down with fivers...

    (I thought they did that anyway...)

    1. big_D Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: WWF

      WWF – wildlife, not wrestlers

      There is a difference?

      1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: There is a difference?

        Met many wrestlers have you?

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: WWF

        Yes, there is. I can observe wildlife for hours and not get bored. Wrestlers, it's more in the low single digit millisecond range.

    2. Not also known as SC
      Mushroom

      Re: WWF

      Sinister how they haven't commented. Do you think the WWF (wrestlers) have something to hide?

      1. Steve the Cynic

        Re: WWF

        "Do you think the WWF (wrestlers) have something to hide?"

        Mostly that they haven't been the WWF since 2002... (Now called World Wrestling Entertainment, perhaps a better statement of their intentions, if not the results.)

  5. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Seeing a list of options starting "Palm Oil, Tallow..." reminds me of a system I once worked on. It was a billing system for storage of bulk liquids in the company's tank farm. Running "select * from products" was guaranteed to make you feel queasy. The results included palm oil and tallow, and much, much worse things.

    1. Steve the Cynic

      "much, much worse things"

      Chlorine triflouride?

      1. Steve the Cynic

        "triflouride"

        Argh. Can't spell. That should be "trifluoride".

        1. Glenturret Single Malt

          You are not alone. It must be the single most common chemical spelling error (based, anecdotally) on quite a number of years teaching the subject. Closely matched by "seperate".

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "reminds me of a system I once worked on."

      In my case it was reporting for an ice-cream etc. manufacturing plant. The one that got me was the item "Tiramisu tanks". They made tiramisu in tanks?

      Going on site required white coat and industrial steel-toecapped shoes. The white coat was no problem for an ex-scientist but they might have objected if they'd known where it had been previously. The shoes had to be bought but came in useful for years as gardening shoes but were universally referred to as the ice-cream factory shoes.

  6. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Which which is which...

    They'll never keep everyone happy. Especially the minority groups that love to hear their own voices.

    So in answer to the question of which... they should use both, and pi** off as many minorities as possible.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Which which is which...

      "they should use both, and pi** off as many minorities as possible"

      Agreed. And if I were in charge every note would be rubbed in ground nuts. Oooh, and I'd make sure the tallow is a mix of beef and pork, plus some used car oil. And not forgetting Old Testament Christians, I'd find some basis for using chitin from shellfish, and mixed fabric fibres.

      Religions, vegetarians, allergists, cyclists...fundamentalist b@stards the lot of them

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Which which is which...

        I'm not sure how to implement it, but banknotes should also vaccinate you to piss off the Antivaxxers :P

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Which which is which...

        And not forgetting Old Testament Christians

        I hate to diss such a fine rant but there ain't no such thing.. (the clue is in the name!)

    2. Oengus Silver badge

      Re: Which which is which...

      Add some pig fat as well... Piss off another vocal minority.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If we have to piss someone off...

    ... could we make it whale oil plx?

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Coat

      > whale oil plx?

      Panda baby oil.

      The one with the cuddly animals in the pocket. -------->

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Whale oil beef hooked.

      1. Scott 26
        Flame

        >>whale oil beef hooked

        good idea - render down Cameron Slater

        (hmmm, no 'fat blubber' icon)

      2. Graham Dawson

        Ahhh, that old west-country charm...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Kittens, Puppies or Orphans.

      I don't think anyone would be pissed off at the last one though.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would the by-product of liposuction be suitable?

    1. A K Stiles
      Pint

      Liposuction waste

      Sounds like a great idea to me (with no technical / legal consideration) - frankly I'm willing to let them have some of my spare in exchange for a few examples of the new currency they produce with it! Everyone wins, right?

      1. Tikimon Silver badge

        Re: Liposuction waste

        Hey, it makes great soap!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Liposuction waste

          Good God, I read that as soup.

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Liposuction from willing volunteers who want to be made of money. In a certain science fiction comedy they'd be known as The Dosh of the Day.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Definitely win/win

        I doubt the revenue given to the donor would completely pay for the liposuction, but it would become cheaper which is going to be welcomed.

  9. Andy Non
    Coat

    Well at least the palm oil means...

    the new notes will be somewhat environmentally friendly as they'll naturally biodegrade and break down while still in your wallet.

    1. Glenturret Single Malt

      Re: Well at least the palm oil means...

      Well, the value goes down while it is in your pocket, so, no difference? (No relevance to the fact that I am Scottish).

  10. handleoclast Silver badge
    Mushroom

    A mix of pork and beef tallow

    This is a combination with proven efficacy, dating back to 1856. It was used to grease the Minié balls fired by the then new Enfield P-53 rifles and worked perfectly with absolutely no drawbacks.

    Well, it had one tiny drawback. It provoked the Sepoy Mutiny, eventually leading to Indian independence, but that was not considered a drawback in India, only in Britain.

    Just think. India might still be an imperial possession of only we'd greased the bullets with palm oil. Or 5-pound notes.

    1. Aitor 1

      Re: A mix of pork and beef tallow

      I would argue that it was not the tallow itself, but the absolute disdain an abuse of power. the tallow was just an egregious example.

    2. RealBigAl

      Re: A mix of pork and beef tallow

      The grease used in the Indian army didn't use either, but a nice little rebellion in the sub continent distracting the Brits suited the Czar's plans at the time.

      It's a fine early example of Russian foreign propaganda at work....

      1. salamamba too

        Re: A mix of pork and beef tallow

        and the distain of the gurkha soldiers for the indians over this led them to actually grease their bullets in cow fat, making anyone shot automatically unclean as well as inured.

        Rule 1 - don't piss off gurkhas.

  11. DNTP

    Everything is offensive to some people

    And some people try to be offended by everything.

    Palm oil does have a high environmental demand, and the industry should be carefully scrutinized, but the volume used to hypothetically produce polymer currency isn't really a useful platform to stand on, considering how massively corrupt the palm oil industry gets in Southeast Asia.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Everything is offensive to some people

      Indeed.

      I would add that just because you're offended, it doesn't make it offensive.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Everything is offensive to some people

      "but the volume used to hypothetically produce polymer currency isn't really a useful platform to stand on, "

      Assuming it's required in similar quantities to the now defunct "one cows worth of tallow", all they need to do is pop down the local supermarket and buy a few 1 gallon bottles.

      It's not as if this will require a few oil tanker sized loads and a whole new plantation the size of Wales! I'd bet the average household gets through the required amount on an annual basis anyway since palm oil is in so many of our food products these days.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Everything is offensive to some people

        "palm oil is in so many of our food products these days."
        Not to mention diesel fuel since it's now mandated that it include biofuel.

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Re: Everything is offensive to some people

          Er, no. Almost all biodiesel comes from rapeseed and soy. However, small producers in the USA have made use of waste animal and fish fats to produce the fuel too, if you're looking for irony.

          Palm Oil really is too valuable to just burn: consumers in industrialised nations will pay top-dollar for it as a food ingredient, so food is where most of the world's production goes (especially in the West, where it's used as a vegetarian-friendly substitute for lard or suet in pastry and baked goods), and that's why planters are deforesting huge swathes of the Tropics to grow it.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Everything is offensive to some people

            "Er, no. Almost all biodiesel comes from rapeseed and soy.... Palm Oil really is too valuable to just burn"
            45% of palm oil used in Europe in 2014 went to biodiesel, up from 8% in 2010

            Biofuels Indonesia for more info

    3. badger31

      Re: Everything is offensive to some people

      I wonder how much palm oil a new £20 note has compared to a jar of Nutella (*other chocolaty spreads are available) and how many of the environmental protesters had that on their toast this morning.

  12. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Joke

    New Notes Ideal for bribery.

    A whole new meaning to greasing someones palms.

  13. I Like Heckling

    Just tell the whining SJW tards to feck orf... they will never be satisfied with any solution to anything, they just love hearing the sound of their own complaints... well... when I say the sound off... I mean looking at the hashtag that they'll post on twitter/facebook/snapchat/insagram... because nothing says dedicated campaigner and righter of all wrongs more than a post on 'insert relevant site here' containing a current popular hashtag.

    1. Mr Fuzzy

      You appear to be doing the thing you're complaining about.

      1. badger31

        "You appear to be doing the thing you're complaining about." #irony #harrypotter #yougettheidea

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe we can find some chubby vegans who can be rendered down into the required oils and fats?

    1. Fraggle850

      Chubby vegans can be found...

      ...counting hens teeth in a quiet corner of your local unicorn farm. Chubby vegetarians are much easier to come by

      1. Brenda McViking
        Childcatcher

        Re: Chubby vegans can be found...

        I think that's only due to the fact that vegans in the UK are fanatical health-nuts, by and large.

        I live in India right now and many vegans here have an obesity problem. And I can see why - the vegetarian curries are astonishingly good but can be heavy on oils, there are always plenty of carbs from the rice, chapatis, parathas and popadums, and that's before you've had the chai containing more sugar than a large bottle of coca cola. Why? Obesity is just a surplus calorie intake. Vegan food doesn't necessarily contain fewer calories.

  15. Huw D

    Palm oil collection kills people...

    Well, sort of.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-39427458

  16. LoPath
    Mushroom

    Hemp

    Why not hemp? Oh yeah.... it's still considered "bad". Umkay...

  17. Alister Silver badge
    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      Coat

      I seed what you did there; but I ca't seem to rapa my head around it. But using it would surely be a turnip for the books.

    2. jake Silver badge

      I canola agree with you, Alister.

  18. heyrick Silver badge

    WTF?

    Given that article 50 was just handed to the EU, and May is still making threats she can't sensibly back up, don't people think that right now there are much more important issues of concern?

    1. druck Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: WTF?

      STOP PRESS; the world hasn't ended with A50.

      Have a cup of tea and then get on with the rest of your life.

      1. heyrick Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: WTF?

        "STOP PRESS; the world hasn't ended with A50." - I never said it did. I said that A50 would surely be of greater importance than whatever it is they make money out of.

        "Have a cup of tea and then get on with the rest of your life." - as a Brit living in Europe, that'll require a lot of tea...

  19. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared"

    Okay, that is a statement that demands verification.

    The total land surface of the Earth is apparently 148.3 million square kilometers.

    Of that, rainforests cover allegedly 6%, which means 8.898 million square kilometers.

    From this wiki entry, I find that a football field is 7140 square meters which, with the magic of the metric system, means 7.14 square kilometers.

    300 football fields is therefor 2142 square kilometers, which is supposedly cleared per hour.

    So in a day, 51408 square kilometers are "cleared", and at that rhythm it takes a mere 14.67 years to remove all the rainforests on the surface of the planet.

    Given that I've been hearing about this issue for the past 20 years, we've already finished clearing rainforest and have started clearing, what - savanna ? Desert ? Dirt ?

    If I'm not mistaken, the rainforest still exists, if only because there are still people trying to save it. I do not dispute that logging companies and, apparently, local farmers are indeed clearing out land, nor will I dispute that some oversight must be put in place to control that and ensure that we are not, in fact, burning the Earth's lungs to provide yet another effing snack, but claims like that do not incite me to think that the issue is as serious as it undoubtedly is.

    1. isogen74

      Re: "300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared"

      > From this wiki entry, I find that a football field is 7140 square meters which, with the magic of the metric system, means 7.14 square kilometers.

      Um. No. The magic is in the word "square".

      One square kilometer = 1000 meters * 1000 meters = one million square meters. So a football pitch is 0.00714 square kilometers, which makes your whole argument fall apart somewhat. But hey, what's three orders of magnitude between friends. Don't let that get in the way of a good rant though - carry on ...

      1. John Styles

        Re: "300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared"

        How can anyone who, since they read the Register presumably has something to do with computing, possibly think that a football pitch is 7 square kilometres?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared"

          But as a Reg reader the concept of 7 square kilometers just doesn't compute and the error is simply a mistranscription in the caluculation of micro-Wales as milli-Wales - a very simple mistake to make! (And I'm sure in a GCSE marking scheme you'd get almost full marks for thsi)

          1. Rusty 1
            Coat

            Re: "300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared"

            Yup - always worth having a rough idea of the scale of things.

            Who could imagine a million otters? Now, a hundred, in the cabin? Yellow car!

        2. Steve Aubrey

          Re: "300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared"

          https://www.amazon.com/Innumeracy-Mathematical-Illiteracy-Its-Consequences/dp/0809058405

          1. nijam
            Megaphone

            Re: "300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared"

            > "300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared"

            Ban football, it's destroying the rainforest!

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: um, no

        I once ordered soil in cubic yards that had only three cubic feet in them instead of the more usual 27.

        I was tired when I did the sums and I don't want to talk about that any more.

        Before I had invented places to get rid of 97 cubic feet of topsoil the pile in my driveway had a small tree growing in it and it had been imaged by Google Earth.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Bill Gray

      Re: "300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared"

      Hang on! Does the last part of this sentence seem even faintly reasonable to you?

      "From this wiki entry, I find that a football field is 7140 square meters which, with the magic of the metric system, means 7.14 square kilometers."

      A football field is 7.14 square kilometers? 714 _hectares_?

      Correct by a factor of a thousand (difference between meters and square meters, or metres and square metres), which propagates through the rest of your math, and we're looking at 14670 years to remove all the rainforests. Which may swing your argument the other way, from "the numbers are obviously bull feces" to "the numbers _were_ bull feces, but now they're solid, and show that it'd take a century to use up even one percent of the rainforests."

      1. Sparkypatrick

        Re: "300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared"

        That 300 football fields per hour figure isn't globally, it's just for Indonesia.

    4. Andy Tunnah

      Re: "300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared"

      Christ mate you really cocked that one up, well and proper.

      I can't help but imagine a game played on a pitch that size. You'd need a space telescope to see the goals

      1. David Webb

        Re: "300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared"

        Not only would you need a telescope, you would need to figure out a new way to win the bloody game. It would take 45 minutes just to get from half way line to the goal line (using GPS so you don't get lost along the way), so by the time you got there the whistle would blow for half time and you'd be back where you started.

        This would really, really suck for England as every match would end in penalties. Germany WC winners forever.

        1. Sandtitz Silver badge

          Re: "300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared" @David Webb

          "It would take 45 minutes just to get from half way line to the goal line"

          No. 7,14 sq km football field equals to something like 2 km x 3,58 km.

          From half way line to the the goal line (assuming straight in the middle) would therefore be 1,79 km which would be would be possible to do in maybe 6 minutes for an amateur runner.

          Germany would still win on penalties.

          1. Sandtitz Silver badge
            Mushroom

            @me

            "7,14 sq km football field equals to something like 2 km x 3,58 km"

            Can't you do even a simple division? What a moron!

  20. Pedigree-Pete
    Thumb Up

    Re: Rape

    Yes Alister. Your mind could only be considered "normal" around here....PP

  21. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    I say!

    > child labour

    > social ill

    Yet another "I can afford not to, so you should too" white whine.

    1. Adam Foxton
      Joke

      Re: I say!

      This is clearly statist, "enforcing our beliefs on you" commie-talk.

      So you could also call it Red whine!

  22. Scott Broukell
    Meh

    Yes palm oil cultivation has very little benefit for the immediate environment etc, but I feel we should be more worried about the amount of bacteria, human fecal matter and drug residue on virtually each and every bank note, be it plastic or linen based in composition.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      At least the plastic ones are cleaner.

      Just don't iron them.

  23. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "the equivalent of 300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared for the planting of palm trees"

    Plant 300 actual football fields for palm trees (a much better use for them), use such oil as is needed for the notes and sell the rest. It might help pay off HMRC's bill for substituting Crapita for freelancers.

  24. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Just curious. How will other people complain if other oils were chosen instead?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "How will other people complain if other oils were chosen instead?"

      Rape seed oil (canola across the pond) would probably find objectors to complain about about Monsanto, GM & pesticides.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        What about cottonseed oil, a natural byproduct of the cotton industry, unless everyone wants to go back to wool and flax? Sunflower or safflower oil?

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          "What about cottonseed oil"
          Cotton has the highest requirement for pesticide inputs. Wool = animal exploitation. Flax isn't hemp (cannabis is kewl, right?). Can't for the life of me think what they'd object to about sunflower and safflower but I'm sure they will. It's in their nature (so to speak).

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            "Cotton has the highest requirement for pesticide inputs."

            But you can counter simply asking if they want to go back to wool or linen undergarments, T-shirts, and so on. Because as far as I know, no one's managed to find anything even close to cotton in terms of its desirable qualities.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              "But you can counter simply asking if they want to go back to wool or linen undergarments, T-shirts, and so on. Because as far as I know, no one's managed to find anything even close to cotton in terms of its desirable qualities."
              Hemp and linen are both well-suited to substitute for cotton in all but one respect: cost*. And the "environmental campaigners" don't give a flying fuck for them that can't afford such.

              * I'm not too sure if cotton really is cheaper. I have a hemp shirt that's at least 15 years old and still little sign of wear. My cotton shirts OTOH need the collar reversing after less than 5.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                "Hemp and linen are both well-suited to substitute for cotton in all but one respect: cost*"

                As I understand it, while linen can be used as an all-weather clothing, it's better used in weaves, where its ability to take a pattern really shines. Knit bast fibers (linen, hemp, etc.) tend to fall on the delicate side of the care scale along with silks (they don't seem to be as hardy and are more vulnerable to various substances), making their uses in things like T-shirts and undergarments not as affordable.

                1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                  "Knit bast fibers (linen, hemp, etc.) tend to fall on the delicate side of the care scale along with silks (they don't seem to be as hardy and are more vulnerable to various substances), making their uses in things like T-shirts and undergarments not as affordable."
                  Well, my understanding is:

                  - Linen has almost twice the strength of cotton.

                  - Linen has a crisp handle compared to cotton that has a much softer handle.

                  - Both fabrics are breathable, hypo allergenic and have a good hand feel.

                  - Linen has a higher moisture absorbency than cotton and this is one of the keys to the longevity of Linen fabrics.

                  - Both Linen and Cotton are plant based fibres, produced from cellulose. They are both structurally sound fibres and which ensures that cotton and linen products both retain their shapes.

                  - Linen is significantly more environment friendly, as it needs less water and far lesser levels of chemicals to thrive.

                  - Cotton is intrinsically a fine fibre, and that allows it to be able to be woven into a higher thread count fabric. Linen is a much thicker fibre and gets spun and woven into technically a lower thread count fibre. Linen’s intrinsic properties however make it a superior, and durable fabric.

                  The last point really determines whether you would choose Linen or Cotton fabric for a shirt. You would go with Cotton if you were looking for fineness of fabric and softness. You will on the other hand pick Linen if you were looking for Fabric lustre and longevity of the garment.

                  Traditionally, linen bedsheets were handed down through a family, something that could hardly be said of even the best quality cotton bedsheets.

                  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                    "Both Linen and Cotton are plant based fibres, produced from cellulose."

                    Cotton is cellulose. Linen is lignin, that's why it's more durable.

                    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                      "Cotton is cellulose. Linen is lignin, that's why it's more durable."
                      Wrong. Both are cellulose. Cotton fibres are narrower in diameter and shorter in length. Line (fibres that make up linen) is much longer and thicker. Lignin is what you don't want mixed with your cellulose when making fabric or paper. It weakens them.

                  2. Charles 9 Silver badge

                    "Traditionally, linen bedsheets were handed down through a family, something that could hardly be said of even the best quality cotton bedsheets."

                    And as I mentioned, those are typically woven, not knit as in a T-shirt. Every knit linen garment I've found falls squarely under "delicates".

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              "But you can counter simply asking if they want to go back to wool or linen undergarments, T-shirts, and so on."

              But your dedicated vegan environmentalist is probably entirely clad in artisan-woven nettle fibre.

              1. Swarthy Silver badge
                Trollface

                But your dedicated vegan environmentalist is probably entirely clad in artisan-woven nettle fibre.
                Nettle fibre isn't too bad if you boil the hell out of it first (and you get nettle tea as a side-benefit, Nah, the dedicated vegan environmentalist is fully kitted out in hair shirts.

      2. Anonymous IV

        I always thought it was slightly odd that rape-seed oil came from oil-seed rape...

  25. Triggerfish

    Sustainable palm oil

    Is not that much more cost wise than the bad stuff, why not just buy that?

  26. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Never handle a £5 note

    without eating a bacon buttie first.

    1. Oengus Silver badge

      Re: Never handle a £5 note

      What do you think I used to buy the Bacon buttie?

  27. Steve Evans

    Stupid....

    This saga brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "blown out of all proportion".

    The total amount of dead animal used in the production of *all* the new £5 was less than 1 hoof!

    The damn thing could still be walking about... With a limp of course.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Stupid....

      Actually, last I checked, hooved animals don't really handle three legs all too well. At least with equines, loss of function in one leg is considered sufficient grounds for euthanasia.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Stupid....

        "At least with equines, loss of function in one leg is considered sufficient grounds for euthanasia."

        With only 3 legs they'd still cost the same to feed but couldn't run. Many unsuccessful punters have been convinced their fancy only had 3 legs.

  28. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    More importantly....

    The new notes are utter rubbish - as currency. They may well last longer but they're a bugger to work with. Once bent they won't unbend completely to live flat in a bundle; Counting them is thus a nightmare, compounded by the fatty slipperiness which means you can easily miscount. Aargh...bring back the sovereign!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge
        Headmaster

        Re: More importantly....

        "Perhaps, in these days, I'd better note that was irony, not goldy."

        I beg to differ. Your remark possibly qualifies as sarcasm.

        Bad luck is when things turn out exactly the opposite of what you wanted. We don't have a clever word for it because it happens so often that there's no point.

        Irony is when you take steps against that and things *still* turn out exactly the opposite of what you wanted, *because* of what you did. We have a clever word for it because the rest of us enjoy the schadenfreude.

        Sarcasm is when you say exactly the opposite of what you mean. We have a clever word for it but you should note that we also call it the lowest form of wit.

        If you want a rule of thumb, sarcasm is something that you do and irony is something that happens to you.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: More importantly....

          You appear to have missed that his remark was a Blackadder reference.

  29. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Go

    I'd like to complain about Britain's money, too...

    You guys aren't giving enough of it to me!

    (Bastards!)

  30. Planty Bronze badge

    Baby Seal Skin Please

    That would make my day if the BoE turned round and halted production of the new £20 and got Boaty Mc BoatFace to go to catch lots of baby seals.

  31. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Boffin

    Missing a trick

    They should make the notes from a combination of pork, beef, whale, panda and kitten oils.

    Then all the pantywaists will get all up in arms (as will various religious minorities); throw a hissy fit and (hopefully), move to another country.

    This then fixes LOTS of issues, housing shortages, school/hospital overcrowding, traffic jams, immigrants - all suddenly under control.

    Could everyone give me 10 minutes to get a suitable patent registered.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Missing a trick

      Unless it BACKFIRES and they decide to storm London instead...

    2. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Missing a trick

      Years ago I toyed with the idea of bringing out a take the mickey snack food product called the "B****rd Bar" - which would have contained small amounts of a variety of animals / fish to wind up various religions, and then all the (almost ever changing based on this months fad) bad for you stuff such as salt, sugar, trans fats etc, allergy specials e.g. dairy, nuts, gluten etc.

      Problem was recipe would have to be updated way too often, I gave up the idea when the mass of allergy warnings started to include things such as celery as I then decided reality had exceeded the bounds of satire

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Missing a trick

        You could perhaps FAKE some of it. Put in the worst offenders (lard, tallow, peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, dried milk) to put "NOT Kosher, Allergen-free, or whatever!" on the front of your bar and and simply put on the back of the label "May contain one of the more of the following:" and list off all the fad ingredients of the month. Much easier to change the label than change the product. And it's not like you're going to mass-product the things.

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Missing a trick

        I gave up the idea when the mass of allergy warnings started to include things such as celery as I then decided reality had exceeded the bounds of satire
        Allergy to celery is a common problem for those who grow it. The workers harvesting the crop usually "only" suffer contact dermatitis (rashes, swollen lips and throat and such that you get from excess histamine) but anaphaleptic shock is not unknown.

        Personally I can't stand celery or a certain class of celery eaters for that matter.

        I committed a bit of food bastardry on a flatmate back in the 70s. He claimed to be allergic to onions and garlic both ingredients being in most dishes I cook. So I put a very tiny amount of onion in a soup and used my newly acquired food processor to blend it and make the onion "undetectable". His immune system detected it and his lips swelled up, face went red etc.

        Yes, a lot of food allergy is imaginary, trendy bullshit but that doesn't mean it all is. It's also worth noting that allergy can worsen over time. I used to keep bees and the occasional sting never bothered me at all. Then I started to react to stings: localised swelling/pain/itching that took two weeks to go away. The last time I was stung I was hospitalised for two days.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Missing a trick

          "Allergy to celery is a common problem for those who grow it. The workers harvesting the crop usually "only" suffer contact dermatitis (rashes, swollen lips and throat and such that you get from excess histamine) but anaphaleptic shock is not unknown."

          Mangos are another product for which you develop reverse tolerance, meaning it gets worse as you keep eating them.

  32. rodc

    I just want the fivers to stop jumping about in my till.

  33. earl grey Silver badge
    Trollface

    grounds for euthanasia.

    So, that's somewhere south and east of the EU?

  34. jake Silver badge

    One fairly serious alternative is ...

    Ghee.

    I used it as bar oil on one of my saws once to win a bar bet. It actually did about as well as 30 weight! The only real issue was on a cold morning, for somewhat obvious reasons.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: One fairly serious alternative is ...

      "Ghee.

      I used it as bar oil on one of my saws once"

      Next time I run out of chain oil, I'll just pop into the kitchen and clarify some butter then. Butt not in the winter...

    2. gerdesj Silver badge

      Re: One fairly serious alternative is ...

      "Ghee"

      How the heck did you get it in the tank? The stuff is solid unless you live in Death Valley. Spoon it in?

      Why am I even asking this ... you did THAT for a bet! Around here we normally resort to spoofing for a round, in the bar. I hate think what you guys get up to when you get really hammered 8)

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: One fairly serious alternative is ...

        Note that I'm not recommending ghee in a saw! Try it at your own risk, etc! Also please note that I did NOT use it as 2-stroke oil! That would be asking for trouble ...

        I poured it into the bar oil tank. If parked in the sun, it's liquid enough during high summer here in California. In colder weather, heat it up in the microwave before pouring. Running the saw at idle creates enough heat to get things flowing on a cold morning. Unfortunately, prolonged idling is bad for the saw. I cleaned it out after about 48 hours, and saw no ill effects down the line.

        I'll save stories of other bets for appropriate commentadery (I've mentioned a few here on ElReg in the past) ... suffice to say that a bar full of Mendocino County lumberjacks on a Saturday night can get pretty funny, if a trifle dangerous to onlookers :-)

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: One fairly serious alternative is ...

          suffice to say that a bar full of Mendocino County lumberjacks on a Saturday night can get pretty funny, if a trifle dangerous to onlookers

          I'm sure jake is meaning that they are all macho and trying crazy mountain men style pranks, but all I see is...

          I cut down trees. I skip and jump.

          I like to press wild flowers.

          I put on women's clothing

          And hang around in bars.

    3. stratcat

      Re: One fairly serious alternative is ...

      Ghee...

      Which if you're old enough to remember a certain book, is actually made from tigers.

    4. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: One fairly serious alternative is ...

      Some of us will remember that Castrol oil was originally based on castor oil, hence the name. It has rather superior lubrication properties, and I wouldn't be surprised if ghee was similar. It also lubricates other things too, like digestive systems. Apparently in WW1 the castor oil lubricant of aero engines used to give pilots the runs, to counteract which they drank whisky (I don't know what the Germans drank). So you had aggressive drunks with rumbling guts fighting one another at 15000 feet.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: One fairly serious alternative is ...

        "I don't know what the Germans drank"
        Schnaps, which means a “gulp” in old German, or Brandweinis, a brandy enjoyed warm and in small measures to let the flavor and aroma unfold.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: One fairly serious alternative is ...

        "Some of us will remember that Castrol oil was originally based on castor oil"

        Ah, the smell of burning Castrol R.

        Now there's an idea. Use castor oil. It would help money slip through our fingers even faster.

  35. -tim
    Pint

    Beer proof?

    Are these like the Aussie plastic bank notes? The ones that are nearly indestructible and seem to outlast coins? They can deal with most wear and tear issues unless they are soaked in beer and then they tear very easily. I would have thought that how a bank note deals with being passed over a bar would have been a critical part of the specifications.

    1. Rattus Rattus

      Re: Beer proof?

      Nope, they shrug off beer spills pretty easily. Perhaps you had a pre-stressed one?

  36. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The only solution...

    ...tallow from a cow that died of natural causes.

    1. Rattus Rattus

      Re: The only solution...

      Slaughter is natural causes, for a cow.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The only solution...

        "Slaughter is natural causes, for a cow."

        I live next to a farm. A while ago I went to look for the farmer, probably to tell him yet another of his sheep had escaped. There was nobody about but I found a dead cow lying on its side the yard and it certainly hadn't been slaughtered.

        However, the mention of sheep raises the ideal solution: mutton fat. It seems to be an article of faith amongst sheep farmers that a sheep's only ambition is to die as soon as possible.

  37. Kaltern

    The blood of 100 virgins.

    But seriously, this has got to stop. It's a new weekly gameshow... Guess The Activists!

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    palm oil? what about her five lovely sisters?

  39. Dr Jones

    Greasy kebabs + cotton money = animal traces everywhere!

    There are probably more traces of animal fat on the fares a taxi driver gets on a Friday night with the cotton paper we have now - I mean...all those greasy kebabs and pizza gubbinz before you get a cab.

  40. Dr Jones
    Trollface

    But it's our money is already full of animal grease.

    I mean...take a drunkard getting kicked out the club. She/He gets a greasy mystery kebab of pizza dripping with who knows what oil. She/He pays the taxi driver with a pile of notes out from his pocket...their are covered in grease and other such fun....the bank note is made of cotton paper. It's gonna soak up a little surely!

    At least with the polymer ones you can soak them in mild disinfectant after a hard night's taxi-ing before passing them on ;). Can't do that wil the paper ones for long at all.

  41. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    All moo-cow, all the time.

    Also: Nuke the Gay Whales.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      That's sheep. Cows moo.

  42. Joe User
    Trollface

    To all vegetarians/vegans/environmentalists

    If you object to the materials used to create your £20 notes, I will gladly take them off your hands at no charge!

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rendered vegans.

  44. Sooty

    How long does an animal have to be dead to satisfy Vegans?

    Plastic is ultimately made from dead animals from millions of years ago...

    I don't see a big difference between this and complaining about a few particles of tallow per note.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: How long does an animal have to be dead to satisfy Vegans?

      If they're petrochemical-based, yes, but what about if the plastic is plant-based?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I be first to say..

    Baby Oil?

    (Cf Neil Gaiman "Babycakes" - http://imgur.com/gallery/sQFgt)

  46. katrinab Silver badge

    Palm Oil is fine

    They need about 2 litres of the stuff for the entire print run. They can go to some artisan palm-oil maker, observe and film the entire harvesting and production process, and take the bottle back to Threadneedle Street in their suitcase, remembering of course to pay the appropriate import duties on it as it isn't going to be used for food.

  47. d3vy

    Is tallow unique to cows? Or can we extract something similar from vegans...

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      I think so. I think we call it lard in other animals, especially pigs.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We need to stop paying attention

    To these environmental justice warriors.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: We need to stop paying attention

      Except they won't take no for an answer. That's why we have eco-terrorism: because they know at SOME point we HAVE to respond.

  49. hatti

    Pork scratchings from a sustainable free range source

  50. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      "Should have just ignored the vegan terrorists and printed the lot."
      Why on Earth would you want to print vegan terrorists? Shirley we have too many already!

  51. Toltec

    Apologies in advance

    Many Bothans died to bring us this lubricant.

  52. Joefish
    Paris Hilton

    While there is a lot of over-reaction to tiny amounts of stuff

    They probably couldn't have picked a more controversial alternative right now.

    Who's in charge of the mint? Wait, let me guess, we've sold that off to China too.

    Next up, the 'secret security measure' in the new £1 coin turns out to be dessicated tiger bollocks...

  53. dajames Silver badge
    Coat

    Giraffe tallow ...

    ... other fats are just shortening in comparison.

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