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Walloon MP proposes scrapping paper till receipts

llustration shows the bill of sale at a branch of Quick fast food restaurant (BELGA PHOTO SISKA GREMMELPREZ)
10:37 19/11/2020

Will the cash receipt soon be a relic of a bygone era? This is the aim of a proposal put forward by Walloon member of parliament Christine Mauel, a proposal which also includes plans to end the systematic printing of receipts within two years.

In the plan, receipts would remain available to customers who request them, just as tickets would be kept in cases where printing an invoice is mandatory or for guarantees on products, Mauel said. She also rejected the idea that emailed receipts could be used as an alternative.

“The goal is not to just replace the traditional cashier's ticket – which is bad for the environment and for health because of the endocrine disruptors contained in the paper - with a digital ticket,” she said. “We would cut down fewer trees and consume less water, but we would drastically increase the production of CO2 because sending an email with an attachment can produce up to 50 grams of CO2.”

A motion for a resolution also calling for the abolition of the cash receipt was already adopted in the Senate last week.

"I can only welcome the adoption of this proposal by the Senate as it is part of the 'zero waste' objective championed by the Walloon government in its regional policy statement," said Walloon environment minister Céline Tellier.

According to a British study, 11.2 billion cash receipts are produced each year in the UK, requiring the felling of 87,000 trees. At similar per capita production, this figure would equate to just under 15,000 trees felled per year in Belgium.


Written by Nick Amies