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Convenience, eco concerns drive demand for digital receipts

digital receipt

Consumers want a digital receipt option.

About nine out of 10 U.S. consumers (89%) would like retailers to offer digital receipts as an option, with millennials and younger Americans are out front on adoption of the no-paper receipt, according to a survey by green economy organization Green America. Nearly 40% of respondents have already signed up for digital receipts.

Seventy percent of respondents who prefer digital receipts say it’s in part because they’re better for the environment, and 70% of the same set who prefer digital receipts say it’s in part because they’re easier to store, the report found. 

“It’s clear that there is a desire for paperless options that reduce the waste of over three million trees used to make receipts each year in the United States,” said Beth Porter, Green America’s climate campaigns director.

Other survey findings are below.

• On average, respondents say that they end up throwing away or losing over half of paper receipts that they receive, even ones that they intended to keep.  More than 25% of respondents stated they throw away or lose “nearly all” paper receipts they are given.

  • Forty-two percent of age group 25-34 (millennials) and 55 percent of age group 35-44 (older millennials) have signed up for digital receipts, and 33% of age group 16-24 (Generation Z) have signed up.
  • Fifty-one percent of respondents say their preferred receipt method is either digital or both paper and digital. Only 42% say their preferred receipt method is paper-only. 

In June, Green America released a new edition of its Skip the Slip report analyzing receipt practices in the U.S. retail sector. The report grades top businesses on their receipt policies and was cited in a California state bill to reduce waste of resources for paper receipts and address endocrine-disrupting toxins used on most thermal paper. Recently, New York City council has announced that it is considering a package of bills that could restrict the use of bisphenol A (BPA), require stores to offer e-receipts, and require businesses to use recyclable receipt paper.

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