Czech supermarket Albert to replace paper receipts with electronic versions in eco-friendly bid

Across the country, hundreds of tons of thermal paper could be saved if retail chains swap over to electronic receipts

Samantha Tatro

Written by Samantha Tatro Published on 25.08.2020 15:57:52 (updated on 25.08.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

Grocery store chain Albert plans to ditch paper receipts and instead replace them with electronic receipts in an effort to be more environmentally friendly, according to a published report.

The electronic receipt pilot program will start with an Albert store in Jihlava before expanding to other areas.

Classic store receipts are made out of thermal paper, and once shoppers leave the store, many of the receipts end up in the trash. Across the country, hundreds of tons of thermal paper could be saved if retail chains swap over to electronic receipts.

“Our costs for the purchase of thermal paper are in the low tens of millions of crowns per year,” Jiří Mareček, Albert’s director of communications, told Hospodářské noviny (HN).

In addition to their electronic receipt pilot project, Albert stores will offer another new option this month: abbreviated receipts which contain just the total amount, payment details, security and identification codes as well as the date.

The receipts, which will be about 10 centimeters long, will help the store trace goods if anything needs to be returned, but will not include a logo or list of items. The customer will be able to choose which type of receipt they want when they check out.

As a result, Albert expects to save seven tons of thermal paper every year.

Current laws in the Czech Republic state that stores must issue a receipt, but the form the receipt must be issued in is no longer specified. There are several alternatives to paper receipts.

“One of the possible variants is to issue the receipt electronically, for example by e-mail or via an SMS message,” Zdeněk Vojtěch from the press department of the Ministry of Finance told Hospodářské noviny (HN).

There’s another downside to physical receipts. Some thermal paper receipts contain chemicals like bisphenol A, which can be harmful to your health; the European Commission banned bisphenol A on January 2, 2020.  In addition, receipts with bisphenol A cannot be recycled.

Some manufacturers already offer more eco-friendly receipts without harmful chemicals, but these receipts can be more expensive.

Albert isn’t the only Czech supermarket chain aiming to reduce waste. Penny Market and Kaufland have also considered more environmentally friendly options like sending the receipt to a customer’s client profile or via email.

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