Thermal Paper Receipts – an Environmental Nightmare!!

 In Blog

There requires a shift in consciousness towards digital receipts, an alternative to thermal paper receipts which are not sustainable and are unhealthy. Going paperless is the right step towards a brighter future!

Digital receipts have been in the news since a few years now. But how many of us really know why we must switch to Digital receipts instead of the thermal paper receipts? What is so wrong with the small paper receipt? Does it have an impact on the environment? If yes, how bad can it be? It’s just a tiny piece of paper after all!

With this blog, we aim to make you aware of the impact thermal paper receipts have on the environment and health as well as the benefits of digital receipts.

You will be surprised at the statistics and the kind of waste created by thermal paper receipts. “In 2013, Laves Chemie Consulting estimated that 1.3 million metric tonnes of thermal receipt paper were manufactured globally, which is 15 percent more from 2011. That equals 34 million trees every year”. It was also highlighted that in US alone, these tiny receipts used 10 million tress, 3.8 billion litres of water and 945 million litres of oil annually. In 2013, UK printed 11 billion paper receipts and the number keeps going up each year.

While there is not enough statistics available for UAE on the amount of Thermal paper receipts produced per year and its impact on the environment, we did a small test. We collected paper receipts for one month and used a paper calculator to calculate the number of trees cut.

Here’s how we calculated:

  • In one month, a family of 4 collected 200 grams of paper receipts. That is 50 grams per person per month on an average.

  • There are 9.6 million people in UAE out of which, say, we consider 50% as the Net population. This means we will generate 240,000 kgs or 240 tonnes of receipts per month.

  • In a single year, this amounts to 2920 tonnes of paper receipts. This will consume 43,800 trees, 210.8 million litres of water, 4.3 million litres of oil, 9.2 million litres of gas and results in emission of 220 tonnes of Co2.

Shocked already? These figures are appalling enough to understand the negative impact of thermal paper receipts has on the environment.

The impact on environment does not stop here! The thermal receipts which are coated with special chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) and Bisphenol S (BPS) cannot be recycled and end up in landfills which gets absorbed into the ground water. Some receipts which gets thrown into the trash along with recycled items, can contaminate the food packaging which in turn can migrate into the food. Receipts in compost bins can end up later contaminating farms growing our food.

It is, thus, important to find a better technological solution as a ‘proof of purchase’. Digital receipts are the most viable option as they save on documentation and management of receipts for both the retailers and the customers.

Why should you use digital receipts?

By eliminating the use of thermal paper receipts, the retailers can reduce the use of paper by a huge margin and save on overheads. In addition to improving the customers check-out experience and contributing towards a greener ecosystem, there is a possibility for a retailer to attract customers who prioritize brands and outlets with CSR initiatives.

A retailer sends digital receipts in real time to a customer’s app as a proof of purchase. Certainly, the generalization of digital receipts brings several business opportunities that will be hard to ignore.

Invoiz – a paperless initiative, aims to bring about a conscious shift that promotes the use of digital receipts in place of thermal paper receipts. We all need to contribute to this Green Initiative and ‘Make a Difference’.

Say “NO” to the thermal paper receipts and make Invoiz a way of life.


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