Are any environmental organizations pushing for electronic receipts ?

It irritates me when stores promote folks to recycle plastic bags and use multiple use bags or charge people for plastic bags (ikea) YET when it comes to them not wasting paper and emailing me that receipt they show their sorry face. presumably they don’t want to give electronic receipts because the return process gets simpler. So far only HomeDepot and Harbor Freight seem to do this although they also give you a paper receipt.:smack:

So my specific question is : Are the green image promoters or national environmental organizations promoting the use of electronic receipts ? If so - why is it taking so long ?

I don’t know what you mean ‘the return process gets simpler’ and that can be taken either way:

1- Having a store issues standard receipt makes it easier for the store to recognize and use.
2 - Having the receipts emailed makes it easier for the customer to find it by using the email’s search function if they need to return the item.

Also it seems like a time consuming thing to have to provide a email address at checkout. Perhaps with a store loyalty card, but that is getting pretty darn ridiculous with many stores now each having their own cards.

I do not know of any ‘green’ organizations pushing for this, only other organizations such as Apple with Apple Pay and other attempts to increasingly move transactions more and more digital. It does seem like we are heading there anyway.

Paper is a renewable resource. Biodegradable, too.

Why is this an issue of “green organizations”? the environmental cost of a small paper receipt is virtually nothing. certainly in comparison with the many other impacts like those of the plastic bags which are known to be large.

you seem more ranting about a personal preference.

Those paper receipts are printed on paper from trees grown specially for the production of paper.

Since “green organizations” mission statements are around “Reduce” “Reuse” and “Recycle” and this falls in the reduce category.

Please provide cite. As I see it - receipt paper is almost always made of non-recycled paper and thermal receipt paper contaminates and makes recycling difficult when mixed with “normal” paper (cite) and contains BPA which is a health hazard (Cite).

That feels like a personal attack. Can you provide cites that this is really a rant ? I see this as a genuine issue - I use a credit card exclusively and end up with a bunch of receipts in my pocket at the end of the day. Many stores now ask - if you need the receipt and if not they just throw the paper receipt in the trash.

And the natural trees that grew on that land before - what happens to them ?

The primary purpose of e-receipts, as pushed by all the stores that are pushing them, is consumer tracking and access to the marketing channel. As much as I support the end of the waste associated with paper receipts, getting the green orgs behind the movement, as it stands, would be to co-opt them into a counterproductive position.

The process should be the reverse of phone-payment systems: stores should be able to beam or NFC receipts *into *smartphones, without requiring any kind of sign-up or user identification/login.

I would not have expressed this as a rant, but did also pick up on it may be a preference that just happens to comes in line with ‘green’ thinking and using the green aspect to justify what you would like. That may be because I read this thread:
Driving 5 miles under the speed limit

Right before yours, which seems to be similar in that respect.

Also from your pocket full of receipts, I think I got my answer, emailed receipts would help the person return a item by having it searchable and not have to look for a slip of paper, however there is still the same issue that a piece of paper may be easier for the store.

Per capita North Americans use over 500 pounds of paper a year. What is the weight of one years worth of receipts? Maybe 0.5% of that. Environmental organizations have priorities just like everyone else, and they push where there’s something to be gained. Little to no impact equals little to no effort.

Although there is that Mitch Hedburg routine. That was really funny.

I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut. I don’t need a receipt for the doughnut. I’ll just give you the money, and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don’t need to bring ink and paper into this. I just can’t imagine a scenario where I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. Some skeptical friend: "Don’t even act like I didn’t get that doughnut! I got the documentation right here…oh, wait it’s at home…in the file…under “D”.

In public discussions, this is usually where I stop and intone in a deep Don Pardo voice, “The… paperless office of the future!” :slight_smile:

Remember that one of the key purposes of a receipt, paper or electronic, is to enlist the consumer as a policeman working for management to guard against theft by cashiers.

How often do you see a sign near the register saying something like “If you don’t get a receipt your purchase is free.” ? They’re everywhere. And the intent is to goad customers into demanding a receipt which has the effect of forcing the cashier to ring the transaction properly, not play games and pocket the cash instead.

To be sure as we drift farther towards an *all card no cash *retail model this issue will decline.
As to the OP:

But meanwhile an electronic receipt doesn’t work as well as a paper one for this purpose because the customer won’t immediately know whether they’re getting a receipt or not. Email has delays, non-delivery, etc. I can sure see the fun in some customer being unwilling to leave the cashier’s station until they’ve seen the receipt appear on their smartphone. Can you say 10 minutes standing there hitting refresh & trying to get the cashier to re-send, etc. Not a good idea.

As for me, I’d much rather get the piece of paper instantly, eyeball it quickly to ensure the prices look about right for what I bought, then pitch it in the trash can just outside the door. If I have any thought of possibly needing to return the item the receipt goes in the bag; it sure never goes in a pocket.

All the retail receipts I create in a year add up to less paper than one corrugated cardboard box 2’ square. So buy one less boxed item next year and call yourself greener than you were last year.

I did the supermarket shopping today. I have a loyalty card and self-scan as I go round which means I can pack the re-usable bags as I go.

At the checkout, the electronics do their thing, I scan some vouchers in and then pay by card. The till prints out a foot-long receipt on flimsy paper, maybe, 1½ inches across. It also prints a voucher for my next shop (cunning isn’t it.)

I like th printed receipt because I can immediately scan it to ensure that I got my 25% off on the six bottles of wine and all the multibuy offers were processed correctly. I can do this after checking out and before leaving the shop. The receipt goes in a recycling box as I leave.

No - I do not want electronic receipts.

I purchased a pair of pants at the L.L. Bean store the other day. They asked if we would prefer to have the receipt emailed to us, which we agreed to.

Seems to work just fine.

Perhaps you have some basis for this other than belief?

It appears that90% of the pulp for the manufacture of the paper comes from the dedicated forests, and not from virgin forest, and half of

Aside from this, the idea that electronic receipts is ‘green’ ignores that electronic data and exchanges are not automatically green as the data centers are enormous energy consumers, energy pigs I think is the term. Electronic receipt does not mean green ipso facto…

you have erected a personal peeve on a series of assumptions that do not appear to be supported.

Most of the time I see companies going green “for the environment,” it ends up being “for our bottom line.” Verizon wanted me to go to automatic payment so that they wouldn’t have to send me a bill every month, and now they send me a statement every month instead, with half a dozen ads for tire repair and roofing supplies included free of charge. Their real reason was to eliminate all those extra steps from the payment process, steps like “not paying the bill”.

There is more paper in the junk mail I receive in a day than in the receipts I bring home in a year.

A few observations:
[li]Some jurisdictions might require the use of a paper receipt. Otherwise, a seller would be in violation of the law.[/li][li]Not everyone has an electronic footprint. Just because you and your friends have a smartphone does not mean everyone does.[/li][li]I choose whom I share my electronic access. If I provide a business with an electronic contact I would be establishing a “business relationship” with that business under the Do Not Call law, giving the business the right to contact me via that contact.[/li][/ul]

The amount of paper involved really is a very small amount of the total and could probably be equaled by small changes in packaging, shopping bag design and the like. Yes, any improvement in greenity is a good thing, but the cost is yet another portal into consumer and individual privacy. Absolutely not worth the gains, IMHO. Stores have absolutely no right to any part of my online identity unless I specifically want something they can only provide that way.