Paper Receipt Green - Our Daily Green

Friday, April 30, 2010

Paper Receipt Green

About once a week, I clean out my wallet. No, I'm not referring to the cash part, although with two daughters, there are times I feel like a human ATM machine. Instead, I empty my wallet of receipts. Paper scraps that do little more than demonstrate my ability to consume, mail something, or withdraw cash.

Many of these receipts are printed on thermal paper, which cannot be recycled.  Even more unsettling is that often the coating on these receipts is BPA. The concern is that BPA receipts do not have a bound polymer, but rather a free one and the BPA can transfer from simply handling the receipt. BPA, also know as Bisphenol A, is linked to cancer, sexual dysfunction and heart disease.

I took a look at my receipts this morning and discovered 4 ATM receipts, 3 post office receipts, 2 grocery receipts and a restaurant receipt. (and a partridge in a pear tree?). I realized that none of these scraps of paper were particularly useful. My ATM withdrawals show up online and in my bank statement, my post office receipts prove I bought stamps or mailed something, my grocery receipts and restaurant receipt show I eat food. The receipts weren't badges of consumer honor, but rather just clutter in my wallet.

Granted, there are times a receipt may prove useful in returning merchandise, but my experience has proven to me that there is a huge disconnect between returning something and finding the right receipt. Additionally, on large ticket items, a credit card receipt or electronic receipt suffices. Not to mention, with a bad grocery item, in my experience, the store is more than happy to simply exchange the item. Vendors give them credit and the customer leaves happy.

How do you feel about paper receipts?  Would you take a quick survey?

(the survey site had a really cute video showing just how much paper rolls of receipt paper make... unreal, huh?)


Eliza said...

I wish there was a way to keep vendors from automatically printing a receipt when I pay. It should be something we request! I rarely need them and the few times I do I know to ask for one in advance.

I didn't know about the BPA. Very unsettling. :( Thanks for the informative post.

Claire said...

It's coming! :) Welcome to the future of paperless transactions!