India’s central bank will reportedly destroy some 20 billion expired/ banned notes after it scrapped Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes earlier this month.
Over 90 billion banknotes were in circulation in India last March.
Most banks destroy mutilated banknotes on regular basis and produce/replace then with new notes. The reserve bank of India also shreds these notes and makes Briquettes of them.
Briquettes is a compressed block of coal dust or other combustible biomass material such as charcoal, sawdust, wood chips, peat, or paper used for fuel and kindling to start a fire. They are cheaper than coal, have lower ash content and are less polluting.
But the Briquette made out of shredded cash is not the usual one; it is brittle and serves no such purpose.
After converting expired banknotes into briquettes, they are dumped into India’s vast Landfills.
Some of the currency is also recycled to make calendars, files, paperweights, ballpoint pen shells, tea coasters, cups, and small trays as souvenirs.
Over 16 billion soiled notes were destroyed in 2015-16 and around 14 billion in 2012-13. Central bank officials say that shredding 20 billion banknotes will not be a huge challenge.
They said, “Destroying so much cash is not a challenge because we have enough shredding and briquetting machines with very high capacities. These are automatic machines which shred the cash into the finest of pieces”.
Fun Fact: It is believed if the banned notes are Stacked one on top of the other, the pile would be 300 times the height of Mount Everest and if Laid down to form a pathway, it’d be long enough to reach the moon and back five times.