Slick's mission to end paper receipts

More than 11 billion paper receipts are printed each year. Slick is committed to move to a paperless society.

Most paper receipts are impossible to recycle

Paper receipts contain the same chemicals used in single-use plastic, making them impossible to recycle. They're also an incredible drain on our natural resources.

As a business if you process 250 transactions and receipts a week, that is the equivalent to:

6.5kg of CO2

650 plastic bags


Why are receipts so bad?

More than 11 billion receipts are printed in the UK each year

More than half of all receipts printed in Europe contain toxic chemicals called bisphenol A (BPA) or bisphenol S (BPS).

These are the same chemicals that are found in single-use plastics and make receipts almost impossible to recycle

Over 90% of receipts are lost, damaged, or thrown away by consumers, creating more than 10,000 tonnes of paper waste

Impacting the planet

Every year around 200,000 trees are destroyed in order to supply the UK with our paper receipts.

It’s estimated that 1.6 billion litres of water are used to produce the thermal paper used to print the UK’s receipts every year - that’s enough drinking water for almost 1.5 million people for an entire year.

A recent study has shown that a single paper receipt emits around 2.5g of carbon during its lifetime - from production, to transport, to landfill. With 11.2bn receipts printed each year in the UK, that’s a whopping 28,000 tonnes of CO2e entering our atmosphere every year.

That’s the same level of emissions as flying from London to Sydney over 10,000 times or burning 30 million pounds of coal.

But I can’t stop paper receipts can I?

Yes you can! It really is a choice.

According to HMRC, a receipt is simply an acknowledgement of payment for goods and services, and you are not legally required to provide one.

It is not a legal requirement for face-to-face businesses to provide a receipt to customers in the UK.

What about colour notes?

Historically some businesses would print out client or colour notes on a receipt. This has a major issue to be aware of:

  • IF these contain personally identifiable information then these could lead to a GDPR breach if your client information is not correctly handled.
  • By printing you are creating a potential problem. By keeping those notes secure within your system you are ensuring that sensitive personal data is protected and handled in compliance with GDPR legislation.
  • How do you dispose of the notes at the end of the day? If these are simply put in a bin then this is a potential breach of GDPR

Unlike most systems which can only be accessed on 1 main computer, Slick can be accessed on multiple devices at once: many partners choose to even put an iPad in the colour room to allow colourists to view notes whilst mixing up colour.

By giving staff access to information on a device, they can update the notes real-time. This saves hours of admin of updating handwritten notes back onto the system which is hugely inefficient.

What steps is Slick taking?

As a environmentally conscious and responsible business, Slick is committed to helping small businesses do their part in the battle against climate change. In April 2023, a new law passed in France making it mandatory to only print receipts on demand. The end of the paper receipt is coming and it will benefit us all and the next generations.

  • Slick is a signatory to the BeatTheReceipt campaign which aims to stop the automatic printing of paper receipts.
  • For those partners using SlickPay in their business, we offer automated, itemised email receipts as part of our partnership with Stripe
  • For those partners using other payment providers who do not offer a email receipt function, the Slick checkout can provider your client with an itemised email receipt

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