Is it time to get rid of paper receipts?

When is the last time you pulled out that folder or drawer stuffed with paper receipts and felt a sense of relief that you had held onto all of them? Do we really need them for our financial records anymore? Every transaction is documented online through your bank statement, your credit card bill, etc. And for cash transactions, your account is still noted when you withdraw funds, making it easy to keep track of what you took out (now, managing spending habits is another topic altogether).

A company called Software Advice (whom we have heard from on this blog before regarding paperless blueprints), offers a few stunning facts:

We think paper receipts are a wasteful vestige of the last millennium. There is no reason – legal or otherwise – why consumers or retailers need paper receipts. Electronic receipts are completely valid and far more efficient. Not to mention, the production of paper receipts do some real damage to our environment.

9,600,000 millions trees are cut down each year just to produce paper receipts.

249,600,000 gallons of oil are used to produce paper receipts.

The amount of CO2 emitted by producing one ton of receipt paper is equivalent to the amount of exhaust a car emits while driving for an entire year. That’s 640,000 cars driving 24/7 for an entire year.

1,220,800,000 gallons of water are used during the production process of receipt paper.

Approximately 2,278 lbs of trash is produced while producing a single ton of receipt paper. This means 1,457,920,000 lbs of trash are being fed into our landfill. This produces enough CO2 emissions to significantly damage the earth’s ozone layer, leading to global warming.

What are you thoughts? Take their short poll on paper receipts (it’s one question) and let’s start moving towards a more modern way of doing business!

P.S. I’m not going to miss those handy coupons on the back of my grocery store receipts that I have never, ever ended up using…

Update and results (May 20th, 2010):

Houston with Software Advice sent along the below chart with the results for the paperless receipts poll, with the overwhleming majority voting in favor of electronic records!

An overwheleming majority of poll-takers expressed their support of getting rid of paper recipts

An overwheleming majority of poll-takers expressed their support of getting rid of paper recipts

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