As of 1 August, paper receipts will no longer be issued automatically in France – a measure implemented with the aim of saving paper, trees and water, the government has said.
This initiative, which stems from the anti-waste and circular economy legislation passed in 2020, applies to receipts offered in stores and establishments; machine-issued receipts; bank card receipts; promotional receipts, and discount receipts, according to media reports.
However, customers still have the option of requesting paper receipts. In a digital format, they can receive receipts via SMS, email, and through customer loyalty apps.
Nevertheless, exceptions will remain, such as with the purchase of so-called 'durable' products with a legal compliance period, where a receipt will be provided.
Criticism From Consumer Associations
The measure has drawn criticism from a number of consumer associations, however, including UFC-Que Choisir and Families Rurales, which pointed out that the receipt is a tool for managing the family budget of many households, by verifying the accuracy of transactions.
The French government has reacted to such criticisms, stressing that ‘it is not the abolition of the receipt or the prohibition of its issuance’ which has come into force with this new legislation.
The French government estimates that 30 billion paper receipts are printed each year in France.
A similar measure is already in force in several European countries, while Belgium’s Wallonia region plans to implement it from 10 August.