The great national debate has revealed that the French are paying more and more attention to the environment and wish to accelerate the ecological transition. To ensure that everyone can take action on a daily basis, the Government has, beginning in spring 2018, presented various measures aimed at improved production, leaner consuming and better waste management. This roadmap for the circular economy has been supplemented by an anti-waste law project. After the adoption by Parliament at the end of January 2020, the anti-waste law for a circular economy was promulgated on February 11th. 

The anti-waste law for a circular economy is built around five main objectives: 

  • Get out of using disposable plastic 
  • Better inform consumers 
  • Take action against planned obsolescence 
  • Reduce plastic packaging 
  • Act against waste and consensus for reuse 

Today we are interested in the last point which foresees the end of the systematic printing of receipts. 

A move towards the end of automatic receipt printing 

In the draft of the law, the government reminds us that there is no current obligation to print receipts for the provision of goods and services amounting to less than € 25 including tax. Additionally, the government remarked that in France, the printing of receipts is systematic even if the customer refuses it and does not even consult it in the end. 

This represents tens of billions of simple receipts printed each year in France. 

The Government also stresses that receipts printed on thermal paper have an impact on public health. Despite the choice of many merchants to use thermal paper containing bisphenol F or S rather than the controversial bisphenol A; no sufficient studies have shown that these are nontoxic and not harmful. 

The anti-waste law for a circular economy therefore puts an end to the systematic printing of receipts in sales areas in France unless the customer has clearly expressed his wish to obtain proof of his purchase. 

The objective, set for January 1, 2023, is the systematic ban on any sales receipt that has not been requested by the customer for any transaction regardless of the amount. 

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