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Paper Pain: The Consumer Case for Ditching Paper Receipts

  • 14th December 2020

Written by Guest Author


Our latest “Guide to…” focuses on sustainability, with expert opinion and examples of sustainable best practice from across the retail industry. We’re committed to working with our customers to help retail as it evolves to ensure it meets the demands of tomorrow, today, and this week’s blog is a guest post by Matty Cusden-Ross, founder and CEO of Flux.

Here at Flux, it’s something we’ve known for a long time, but now thankfully others are starting to understand the case for digitising transaction data and binning paper receipts for good.

Last week, we passed a landmark of three million digital receipts produced. Whilst we took a moment to pat ourselves on the back, given that every year over 11 billion paper receipts are printed in the UK alone, it’s clear that there’s still more work to be done. We aim to become the standard and we’re on our way. So, why is paperless receipting so important?

The cost to the planet

The environmental argument is clear: each receipt takes oil, water and paper to produce and because of the chemicals used to treat the paper, most of these can’t be recycled. It actually surprises most consumers to learn that many receipts contain BPA, a chemical found in plastics. A lot of people also probably wouldn’t believe me if I told them that it takes over 200,000 trees to produce the paper receipts we use in the UK every year – but it does.

It’s been really encouraging to see many retailers working to make their operations more sustainable – paper packaging, reducing single use plastics and introducing in-store recycling points. There’s been a concerted effort within the retail industry and that is to be applauded.

As we all know, even small changes in the vast retail supply chain can cost money and time, so as someone who understands the importance of both of those elements throughout this difficult year, I commend the retailers who are trying to minimise their environmental impact.

Increasing awareness

Environmental awareness is also being recognised by consumers, with a recent study finding that 88% of people want brands to help them live more sustainably and a massive 81% of people feeling strongly that companies should help improve the environment.

The UK public are becoming more aware of their surroundings on a mass scale, perhaps given that, for many of us, our daily walk amongst nature has been our only sanctuary in a tumultuous year. But crucially now, this is being reflected in consumer spending habits – and they’re not afraid to vote with their feet.

Paper receipts: fit for purpose?

Even setting the environmental concerns aside, from a consumer’s perspective it seems bizarre that in this day and age so much crucial information is stored on a small slip of paper. From returns to budgeting, having to collate numerous scrunched up receipts and store them only to find them illegible in a drawer three months later just doesn’t seem efficient.

So, the evidence is all there in front of us for confining receipts to the dustbin of history – consumers want it and the planet needs it. Wouldn’t it be great if we could offer customers a seamless sustainability journey from end-to-end? The reality for most retail experiences is that the last thing a customer will do as they leave the premises is dump a toxic slip of paper in the bin outside the door.


Matty is the founder and CEO of Flux; their proprietary matching algorithm seamlessly links banks and retailers to deliver a digital receipt to customers. Matty has eight years of experience working with various start-ups across industries reaching the mass consumer market. Before founding Flux, he was CMO at Revolut before founding Omnyd, Medvissa, and LengLoi.

  • 14th December 2020

Written by Guest Author

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