Cash is still king - Increased CiC volume and trend for sustainable recycling


While there is an ongoing discussion amongst Central Banks regarding the introduction of a Central Bank steered Digital Currency, it can be noticed that the pandemic situation with Covid has solidified the use of cash (e.g. amongst others hording of banknotes for safety reasons was one of the driver).

Of course cashless payment is still on the progress but cash as a means of payment is still maintaining its importance. Especially for older or poor people, rural areas with less technological infrastructure need to keep relying on cash. Moreover recent natural disasters have indicated that if electricity fails people can rely on cash.

In the past 12month cash in circulation has been growing by nearly 8% on a global scale  – the highest increase for decades. This increased volume need to be sorted and processed. It can be expected that increased volume of banknotes need also to be shredded and destroyed after the end of lifetime in circulation. This calls central banks also for an upgrade or purchase of additional shredding equipment.

On top sustainability puts additional pressure on Central Banks when it comes to the handling of shredded notes. A recent conducted global Central Bank (CB) survey by ‘Banknote Industry News Ltd.’ with 45 different single CB responses, revealed that 30% of all Central Banks are briquetting the shredded banknotes prior to ‘Burning’ or ‘Landfill’.  68% of all Central Banks are planning to put more focus on the recycling process in the near future. And this require fit for recycling shredding and destruction equipment which Hunkeler Systeme is offering by state-of-the art technologies.

Another learning from the survey, 45% of all Central Banks having minimum two different substrates in circulation (January 2022). A mixed banknote substrate policy requires a special shredding and destruction process and for this Hunkeler Systeme has developed an unique ‘cotton / polymer separation system’ which handle shredded cotton / polymer notes at the same time just with ‘one switch’. This separation system can be connected either to an online or offline processing / shredding and briquetting systems. And as the complete system is modular driven, it can be adapted to an existing shredding system by Hunkeler Systeme. More details can be obtained by contacting or join the upcoming Webinar on 1st of March (in case of interest please get in touch with us.)