Cash, not trash: the second lives of substrate

Central banks and their banknote providers are taking a range of approaches to recycling cash

Recycling notes
Polymer can be converted into new pellets of plastic, which can be used as raw materials for other plastic products
CB montage

Several Federal Reserve regional banks sell bags of shredded US dollars as a souvenir. The Chicago Fed even has a name for them – ‘Fed Shreds’. What makes these keepsakes compelling is how they represent the destruction of something that once held great value and commanded respect. Money is supposed to be permanent and potent – to see it reduced to mere matter is shocking, and that is what makes these items interesting.

Society invests so much meaning in physical money, and yet cash is physical

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