By switching to electronic receipts, retail chains in the Czech Republic could save hundreds of tons of thermal paper, which ends shortly after purchase in the trash. For example, they could send the receipt to the customer by e-mail or client profile. The pilot project is being prepared by the Albert store chain in Jihlava.
About the ambition of traders informed Hospodářské noviny (HN). Large retail chains issue hundreds of tons of receipts each year, which end up in the trash shortly after purchase. Therefore, some stores are concerned with shortening or avoiding paper receipts.
According to the law, the trader must issue a receipt, but it is no longer specified in what form. “One of the possible variants is to issue the receipt electronically, for example by e-mail or via an SMS message,” Zdeněk Vojtěch from the press department of the Ministry of Finance explains to HN.
An electronic receipt is issued, for example, when shopping online, but is not commonly used in the case of brick-and-mortar stores. However, this month, for example, the Albert store chain introduced the option of so-called abbreviated receipts with a length of about ten centimeters, where the cashier gives the customer a choice between the classic and the shorter version when paying. The chain estimates that it will save approximately seven tons of thermal paper per year.
“Our costs for the purchase of thermal bills are in the low tens of millions of crowns per year,” Jiří Mareček, Albert’s director of communications, told HN. At the same time, the company strives to be more environmentally friendly with abbreviated receipts. The abbreviated receipt contains the total amount, payment details, security and identification codes or date. This information will allow the purchased goods to be traced and, if necessary, returned. On the contrary, it does not include a logo and a list of items, which can be traced via a barcode.
Albert is also preparing to introduce an electronic receipt as the first stone shop in the Czech Republic. He wants to launch a pilot project in Jihlava during the year.
Other chains, such as Penny Market or Kaufland, are also considering greener options. The receipt could then reach the customer either in his client profile or by e-mail.
However, with the sending of electronic receipts, according to merchants, it is also necessary to solve, for example, the processing of customers’ personal data.
Some thermal paper receipts also contain chemicals that can be harmful to health. Specifically with bisphenol A, researchers have shown that it can cause cancer. The European Commission has therefore banned it since 2 January this year.
Manufacturers already offer ecological receipts without chemicals. But the more environmentally friendly ones are about half as expensive. According to Vítězslav Morava, the owner of the Roličky Morava business company, in addition to the ecological impact, they have the advantage of not just fading. In contrast to the seven-year guarantee of legibility of classic thermal paper, according to them, the legibility of the record is guaranteed for up to 35 years.
Due to bisphenol A, paper receipts still end up in mixed waste. It is not suitable for recycling together with other paper.