Have you ever wondered what will happen to the huge pile of banned ₹500 and ₹1000 notes which amount to over 85% of the money in circulation in the country? The notes that were worth ₹17.77 lakh before November 8 will now return to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as paper with no value. 

RBI data shows that a total of 9026.6 crore notes were in circulation in India as on March 31. Of this 2,203 crore were ₹500 and ₹1000 notes. This amounts to 24% notes that were in circulation. As the government declared the notes to be invalid, it has to be disposed of safely. This will be done in accordance with the RBI rules to dispose of soiled noted. 

The notes collected at RBI issue office will be first examined to make sure that they are not fake. After that, the notes are cut in such a way that it cannot be used to make counterfeit currency. The shreds are then converted to briquettes of about 100 grams and sold for industrial purposes. 

RBI Thiruvananthapuram is selling these briquettes to Western India Plywoods in Kannur. For the past one week, this company has been using shredded ₹500 and ₹1000 notes to make pressboard, hardboard and soft board.


Company purchase briquettes at ₹250 per metric tonne and already got three containers of shredded notes. 

"The shredded notes are mixed with wooden pulp to make hardboard. We got the tender much before demonetisation. Adding shredded notes have actually helped to improve the quality of the product," company managing director Mayin Muhammed told Asianet News. 

Reserve Bank will bear the transportation cost. The shredded notes are usually recycled into various products including files, calendar and paper weights.