Ever wondered what happens to “old money”?

Westpac Wire unpacks what will happen to Australia’s 170 million existing $20 banknotes when the new “red lobsters” are released tomorrow.

The good news is that they have a second life; recycled into everything from coat hangers, plumbing fittings and compost bins.

Some will even reincarnate into sunglasses by the likes of Australian eyewear start-up, Dresden.

“We shred the old notes into small confetti like pieces,” says Melissa Hope, the head of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s note issue department. “They then get melted into pellets, which are ready to be used as the raw material for recycling into other products.”

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