February 8, 2019

The Environmental Benefits of Digital Receipts

Examining the many benefits of digital receipts over their hard-copy paper counterparts

Few products can claim to leave no footprint on our planet. As we become increasingly aware of the daily human impact on our environment, paper purchase receipts are an example of a product that we could easily replace and save significant natural resources as a result.

Various environmental groups have quoted that paper receipts have a detrimental effect on our planet’s natural resources. According to the Huffington Post, each year, in the United States alone, the production of till receipts account for:
• 1 billion gallons of water
• 250 million gallons of oil
• 10 million trees

In the United Kingdom, around 11.2 billion receipts are printed each year which cost at least £32 million to make. Often, paper receipts are printed regardless of whether the customer needs it or not and they are immediately put in waste bins. According to writer Sanjana Varghese, paper receipts that end up in the bin are thought to generate as much as 1.5 billion pounds of waste per year. To counteract this cost, thermal receipts are sometimes used by companies as they are cheaper, even though they are non-recyclable and are coated by a substance known as bisphenol A (BPA) which has known negative health implications.

“Unnecessary paper receipts are both unsustainable and ubiquitous: a lose-lose,” said Mike Childs from Friends of the Earth, an environmental pressure group. This has caused companies like Sainsbury’s to print their receipts on both sides of the till roll, in order to halve the paper output. A number of retailers including Oliver Bonas, Nike and Apple have adopted the system of a digital receipt service which allows the customers to receive their receipt via e-mail or mobile phone app instead of a via a hard copy paper version.

Here at MishiPay, we email receipts to users and also hold the proof of purchase from previous transactions in the user’s app, meaning they always have access to their receipt should they require it. This shift emphasises the eco-awareness of the companies since customers might take into consideration a brand’s corporate sustainability reputation while making the purchase. Cost reduction is also one of the leading factors in the adoption of electronic receipt technology by companies; not having to invest in receipt printing hardware, rolls, ink and more is a significant cost that MishiPay can save retailers.

The benefits of cutting down on paper receipts extend beyond the costs to the environment and the retailer, too. Alongside the millions of trees lost to deforestation, and the millions of pounds spent in their production, paper receipts also cost convenience. On a purely practical level, shoppers who have become used to transacting online are familiar with the user-friendly system of receiving digital receipts rather than being expected to keep track of loose pieces of paper as their only proof of purchase. Being able to easily retrieve your receipt via your email inbox or app is much more convenient than hunting for a paper copy.

Find out more about the benefits of MishiPay here, or contact us to arrange a demonstration of our solution.

" Unnecessary paper receipts are both unsustainable and ubiquitous: a lose-lose. "
Mike Childs, Friends Of The Earth