11.2 billion each year. 300 every second. That's how many receipts are printed in the UK. Paper receipts are a normal part of the shopping experience, just like security tags, debit cards and sweaty crowds. Filling up our pockets, kitchen drawers and landfills, it’s difficult to comprehend that in 2022, we are relying on a receipt system first used nearly 3000 years ago (for real, the Egyptians used them, Google it). While we’re paying with our watches, and maybe soon with just our hands, receipts are still messy, impractical, and killing the planet. Let’s take a look at the scourge of paper receipts...
For Earth’s Sake
We wish we could tell you paper receipts are recyclable, that when they’re inevitably discarded, unused and unwanted, they can return as any other paper-based product, here to take the hit for our poor trees. But sadly, dear reader, this is not true, paper receipts are made to stay, with the end of their days to be spent in the landfill and the landfill alone. That’s right: paper receipts cannot be recycled.
We know its a shock, if you’re like 90% of Brits, you didn’t know that, sit down... take a deep breath... there’s more bad news coming up I’m afraid. You know how receipts are kinda shiny? That's BPA, a chemical-coating that lets slips get printed super-fast while you frantically try to bag-up that Aldi shop, it’s what makes the receipt unrecyclable, but also, its toxic, and not in a fun-Britney-Spears-way, in a nasty-river-pollutant-that-may-also-be-detrimental-to-our-health-especially-to-children-way. Yeah, not cool.
Its One Lost Receipt, How Much Can It Cost?
Most receipts you’ll never use: its print, then scrunch, then bin, never to be thought of again. But every now and then, you’ll need your receipt to return some shopping, and you’ve lost it. Nightmare. After arguing with the checkout-assistant and nearly unleashing your inner-Karen, you admit defeat and it’s not just your receipt you’ve chucked in the bin, it’s your money too. It’s happened to me, it’s happened to you, it’s happened to Tash, our Co-Founder when she couldn’t return her broken trousers at Zara, inspiring her to create Slip (silver linings ay?). Losing receipts is not just a disaster for returning shopping, but you could miss out on claiming expenses, VAT refunds, or warranties.
It’s impossible to know how much money we lose as a nation due to lost receipts, or how much time we spend rifling through pockets or empty glove-boxes trying to find them. Some estimates say that Londoners lose £168 each a year by not being able to claim expenses due to lost receipts, other studies say that lost returns cost the UK a whopping £0.5 billion, now that's a lot of broken trousers...
Receipts aren’t just medieval, they’re literally Ancient Egyptian. Bad for the planet and potentially disastrous for your wallet. Give Receipts the Slip, save the world, and never worry about a lost receipt ever again.