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Shoppers Want Environmental Costs Cut


Over 11.2 billion paper receipts are printed in the UK every year and the majority of these are non-recyclable – a real bane to both the retail industry and shoppers alike as both actively strive to be more sustainable. Recent research from Yocuda, the world leaders in digital receipt solutions, has found that 76% of shoppers would choose a digital receipt if they knew how many trees are cut down to generate paper receipts. 

In fact, globally, approximately 10 million trees are cut down each year purely for the production of paper receipts. The younger generation of shoppers are more eco-conscious as the number that would choose digital receipts rises to 87% and 88% for those aged 18-25 and 26-35 respectively.

Paper receipts end up in landfills and clutter streets and car parks up and down the country. In fact, previous studies have found receipts create more than 10,000 tons of paper waste globally. Partly due to the fact that a large number of receipts are non-recyclable due to the toxins in the ink and the type of paper used. Interestingly, Yocuda also found that the majority of shoppers (80%) would choose digital receipts if they knew paper receipts were non-recyclable. 

In recent years there has been ever growing awareness and concern from shoppers about the impact of their buying habits. More shoppers feel the need to read a retailer’s sustainability policy before making a purchase. Over two thirds (69%) say this is important in their decision to shop with a retailer. 

Furthermore, 67% of shoppers believe it is environmentally wasteful to print till receipts automatically, and 87% expect to see a decline in paper receipts over the next 5 years as retailers continue to digitalise in-store services. In fact, 10% of shoppers predict a paper receipt free future by 2028. 

Commenting on the environmental impact of paper receipts, Edward Drax, CEO of Yocuda stated: “There is no escaping the fact that paper receipts have a disastrous impact on the environment. Five years ago, few people would have batted an eyelid to the automatic printing of receipts. However, shoppers have become more environmentally conscious and their preferences have changed in favour of digital solutions. Our research underscores the moral and ethical duty of care that has grown in sentiment amongst shoppers in the UK.

“It’s reassuring to see that more shoppers than ever are grasping the impact that paper receipts have on our world. Shoppers are calling for more transparency from retailers and expect strong sustainability policies to be put in place. Reducing paper receipts is an easy way for retailers to reduce their carbon footprint and appeal to the majority of environmentally conscious consumers.”

Image by Karolina Grabowska – pexels.com

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