When paying in a bar or in a store, we often receive, without asking for it, a purchase receipt that we leave at the counter and ends up in the trash. An unnecessary waste of paper that should follow the same path as plastic bags. In addition, these tickets are usually printed on non-recyclable thermal paper, and are coated with substances that are toxic to health, which aggravates the problem and makes it necessary to adopt measures to eliminate their ubiquity.

In the UK alone, 11.2 billion tickets are printed per year, which is equivalent to a production cost of 36 million euros. Many of these tickets are coated with bisphenol A (BPA) or bisphenol S (BPS), substances that are toxic to human health or wildlife. Elements that have already been prohibited from drinking water bottles. According to a study conducted in 2018, at least half of the paper circulating in the EU contains BPA or BPS. The presence of these elements makes recycling of most thermal paper inadvisable, since the BPA would be released into the air.

Since 2017, some supermarket chains, such as Lidl or Carrefour, have introduced measures to eliminate the paper of the purchase. If customers choose to do so, they receive their digitized tickets in a purchase application. An important obstacle to the implementation of digital tickets is that they always have to go through the consent of the final consumer, who also has to provide an e-mail address or install an app providing their data. The development and implementation of less disruptive solutions in the shopping experience would be of great help. But it is above all essential that the European authorities legislate to solve the problem.