Stop Wasting Paper on Receipts

Target: U.S. Congress

Goal: Reduce paper waste by requiring that businesses only offer receipts upon request.

Have many times have you been handed a receipt after purchasing an item, only to throw it away on your way out? Your morning coffee, afternoon slice of pizza, pack of chewing gum are all items for which you need no proof of purchase, and yet they still come with a receipt. Most people don’t realize that all of these little bits of paper are causing a lot of environmental damage. It’s time for us to start thinking of every possible way we can preserve the environment. Tell the U.S. Congress to help by requiring businesses to only offer receipts when they are requested.

Millions of acres of forestland are lost each year to support the logging and paper industry, leading to global warming, the loss of natural habitats and subsequent extinction of thousands of animal species. According to Alletronic, a business that is striving to convert receipts to a digital format, 50% of the earth’s forests have been cleared, and 50% of that is for paper. Fifteen trees are needed in order to make one ton of paper. The U.S. demands 640,000 tons of paper for receipts each year. This means that 9.6 million trees are cut down each year so people can get receipts that most will throw away promptly upon receiving them.

In addition to costing the planet millions of trees, it takes about 390 gallons of oil to produce one ton of paper. This translates to 249.6 million gallons of oil being used to keep up with the U.S.’s demands for receipt paper. As if that isn’t enough reason to discontinue producing this unnecessary waste, it also takes about 1.22 billion gallons of water to produce the receipt paper we use each year.

Some stores have already implemented electronic receipt devices, but not every American has access to a printer or internet. For this reason, and also due to costs involved with switching to electronic receipt devices, some stores will need to continue using systems that print paper receipts. As long as these systems are still in place, it’s up to businesses to reduce waste themselves by only giving receipts to customers who ask for them.

It’s hard to believe that such a small piece of paper can cause so much environmental damage, but if we consider how many of those small pieces of paper are handed out (and thrown away) each day, it starts to makes more sense. Tell Congress we can no longer continue allowing wasteful and unnecessary practices like this to continue. Ask for Congress to require businesses to only print receipts upon request.


Dear U.S. Congress,

Over 9,000,000 trees are cut down each year to supply the U.S. with paper for receipts. Enough oil is used in the production process to provide fuel for over 7,000,000 cars. And the CO2 emitted in the production process is equivalent to 640,000 cars running constantly for one year. Is it really necessary to allow this wasteful practice to continue for no reason?

With our planet suffering more and more to meet industrial demands it’s time to start thinking of every possible way to cut back on waste. Discontinuing the we must think of every possible way to reduce paper waste. We urge you to help by requiring businesses to discontinue offering receipts unless the customer asks for one.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. Nellye Bowen says:

    I Love trees, don’t you? Just thinking about them on a cold, January day like this is refreshing. I can almost feel breezes stirring the leaves and hear birds singing as they build new nests, can’t you?

    So will you join me in trying to save as many as we can? I hope so.
    Nellye Bowen

  2. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    no more paper! this is timeless life and we need to stop wasting trees!

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