Technology has enabled us to minimize wasteful and harmful practices. But somehow, our efforts have not quite extended to the dreadful, heat activated paper receipt. We may all ask why?
1.How green is my valley?
In the USA alone, the production of paper receipts annually requires 2.5 billion litres of water. This precious resource is used in processes that emit billions of pounds of CO2. Moreover, 12 million trees are cut down for this purpose. These are trees that would have significantly boosted the CO2 content of the air Americans breathe. Whether you like to wave the Star-Spangled Banner or not, these statistics would leave anyone breathless.
What’s more, the chemicals in thermal register receipts often render other pieces of paper non-recyclable. They pollute documents with phenol, which affect food and water sources.
Single-use plastics have become a no-no, something we’ve gladly accepted. So, it’s time to let our favourite brands know that they, too, need to solve the environmental problem they are causing if they are to enjoy our continued support.
2.Heard of BPA?
Heat sensor activated printed receipts all contain BPA, BPS and BPF – chemicals which, for all intents and purposes, are interchangeable. Think of them as a group of compounds which can loosely be grouped together to go under the term Bisphenol A. These synthetics were initially developed to manufacture resilient plastics and resins. But, unfortunately, they soon inveigled their way into the foods we eat.
BPA is used as a coating in containers, especially canned food tins. As a liner it prevents metal from corroding – but also releases chemicals into foods when fluids are introduced.
A study done in the US compared levels of BPA in people who have eaten only homemade soups with that of persons who have had only canned soups. The urine levels of the canned food eaters were hundreds of times higher than those who were ingesting fresh ingredients. And babies that were fed liquid formulas had 8 x the BPA levels of those of breastfed children. In many countries, BPA is no longer tolerated in infant nutrition.
The chemicals mimic the effect of estrogen. It can therefore affect reproduction and growth, and even energy levels in humans. Not surprisingly, studies that were funded by industries reliant on BPA found very little to no adverse effects on humans. But independent studies have posted a very different view. They have indicated that these compounds may cause infertility in both males and females, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
3.Time to save, save, save
Paperless systems mean that you will not only be saving our precious planet but equally important, time. Filing is labour intensive. Email and databases are much more efficient. In bigger enterprises, access to electronic receipts can also be much more effectively monitored, as opposed to slips of paper in a stockroom.
Some retail chains are now checking with customers whether they prefer to decline a proof of purchase or whether they would rather have the receipt emailed to them. Imagine the cost efficiencies.
4.Say hello to dynamic digital receipts
Organisations are now able to personalise customer communication and show appreciation for the support. In many first world countries, over 80% of clients are happy to share their data to enable relevant, customised communication.
So, now that we’ve given you every reason to reconsider harmful receipts and embrace digitization, it’s decision time. You’re sure to get a huge thumbs up from your loyal shopper base.
Altron Bytes Managed Solutions
Altron Campus, 20 Woodlands, Woodlands Drive,
Woodlands Office Park, Woodmead
PO Box 3591, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa