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New campaign looks to eliminate ‘toxic’ paper receipts

A new environmental campaign has been launched to reduce the amount of impact made by waste paper receipts.

The Beat The Receipt campaign, which is being supported by high street chains such as KFC and Eat., is calling upon consumers and retailers to change their use of paper receipts.

The campaign has been launched by the London-based financial tech company Flux, which aims to make paper receipts obsolete by making them digital instead.

Matty Cusden-Ross, CEO of Flux and Beat The Receipt, said: ‘Receipts are used everywhere in everyday life – they tell the story of our purchase history and we need them for a variety of reasons, not least protecting ourselves as consumers.

‘We launched Beat the Receipt to highlight the problems of paper receipts. It’s not just our own health that’s at risk from thermal paper coated in BPA – every year we print billions of paper receipts at the cost of millions of trees, millions of barrels of oil and billions of litres of water. This is completely unnecessary wastage.’

Over 11 billion paper receipts are created in the UK each year but over 90% of these are lost, thrown away or become too faded to use, amounting to an estimated 7.5 million kilograms of waste.

Around half of printed receipts also contain bisphenols such as bisphenol A (BPA), a toxic chemical often found in single-use plastic.

This makes these receipts impossible to recycle effectively as this can end up transferring the BPA into other products.

‘Bisphenols are being found in our bodies and are reaching the environment through landfill, waste from paper mills and from the breakdown of products that contain these chemicals, such as receipts,’ said Heather McFarlane of the environmental charity Fidra.

‘With mounting evidence that bisphenols disrupt hormones in humans and other animals we need to find alternatives.’

For this reason, the Beat The Receipt campaign has launched a petition to encourage businesses to offer non-printed receipts.

Participating brands such as KFC are also making their customers aware of the issues surrounding paper receipts and are working to offer digital alternatives.

Flux’s campaign comes after a survey of over 1,000 Brits found that they would prefer to receive all their receipts digitally rather than by paper.

The campaign is working with the American ethical consumerist organisation Green America after their similar ‘Skip the Slip’ campaign led to a law change proposal in California this year.

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