Why auto-print receipts when they are getting trashed right away? While that may seem like common sense, it is a practice that results in countless numbers of useless receipts being printed globally every day.
Now, France has decided to do something about it as it takes steps to become a more sustainable economy. The country will be discontinuing the automatic printing of receipts starting from August 1, 2023.
Estimates indicate that France prints more than 30 billion receipts annually, with a significant portion of them ending up as waste.
According to surveys, more than a third of French individuals discard their receipts immediately after making a purchase. Not only does this everyday practice create unnecessary waste, but there is also growing concern surrounding the presence of chemical substances that are used in the printing of receipts — an issue that the French government is seeking to address with its new law.
The cessation of automatic printing will apply to a wide range of shops and all supermarkets. That said, the ban will not universally impact all forms of payments. Service providers will continue to issue receipts as usual, and consumers will still receive receipts when purchasing equipment.
Furthermore, customers have the option to request a receipt from the retailer via email or text message, and retailers must display this option at the checkout counter to ensure transparency.
Apart from France, Belgium’s Wallonia region is also gearing up for similar legislation. Researchers in the Flanders region of Belgium are currently examining the environmental advantages of implementing such measures.