France plans to ban paper till receipts from January

The Local France
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France plans to ban paper till receipts from January
A cashier in a Carrefour supermarket. (Photo: Fred Dufour / AFP)

For many shoppers they're just pointless extra paper, but France's plan to phase out paper till receipts - the next phase of its far-reaching anti-waste laws - has run into some opposition.


The ending of handing out till receipts, part of France’s eco-friendly anti-waste law, is due to come into effect on January 1st, 2023, meaning that - unless it is needed as proof of purchase for guarantee or return purposes - till receipts will not be issued unless expressly requested.

However, associations including the Conseil national de la consommation (CNC), la CSF, Familles de France, Familles rurales, and l’UFC-Que choisir are urging a rethink, calling for the text of the bill, voted through in February 2020, to be modified so that customers are expressly offered a receipt, giving them the choice over whether to take it or not.

The rule on paper til receipts is the third phase in France's far reaching Loi relative à la lutte contre le gaspillage et à l'économie circulaire (law on anti-waste and towards a circular economy).


Measures already in force from phases one and two include bans on single-use plastics such as coffee cups, limits on plastic packaging on food and restrictions on advertising.

READ ALSO How France's anti-waste laws affect you

Scheduled for January 1st 2023 is a ban on disposable dishes in fast-food restaurants and the paper till receipt rule. Retailers will also be banned from destroying unsold products (apart from food) and will be required to give customers more information on the environmental impact of their purchases.

But the paper till receipts rule has run into some opposition - although many retailers have already adopted it without waiting for it to become law.

"At no time in the decree is it written that the seller must have the consent of the consumer for the printing or not of the receipt,” said Matthieu Robin, deputy director of studies of UFC Que Choisir. 

The associations are concerned that ending the routine printing out of receipts would deprive consumers ‘of the chance to assert their rights’, he added, listing the right to return out-of-date goods, or exchange a faulty garment, or the legal guarantees that come with certain non-food purchases.

The Fédération du commerce et de la distribution (FCD), which represents most major retailers in France has a different take.

"The decree does not go into detail. But it's a measure that we've been talking about for over two years and, in our stores, payment terminals will be reconfigured by our service providers," Philippe Joguet, director of responsabilité sociale et environnementale at the FCD, said. 

He explained that, for payments made by credit card, which represent more than 60 percent of purchases, the terminal will include a display on the screen so that the customer can decide whether to receive a receipt. 

And for the other means of payment, the cashier will ascertain the customer's wish.


Comments (4)

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Anonymous 2022/04/22 10:21
French supermarkets are notorious for charging a different price at the till to that displayed on the shelf. Carrie-ann is correct. Two recent incidences - - bought an offer item at 19.99 did my shopping and when I got back to the car thought my bill was a bit excessive. Checked the receipt and sure enough charged 69.99 for the offer item. When back to the acceuil and them checked it and then gave me a ticket and told me to queue up again behind 6 people to get refund. No apology or sorry or extra voucher for the error. Another day in a different supermarket charged 40.66 for a 6 pack of UHT milk which should have cost 4.22. Had to drive back to the supermarket to ask for refund which was given to me. This time there was an apology. My advise to anyone is definitely always get you receipt and check it. In my country ( Ireland ) it is illegal practice to do this and the supermarket has to compensate you as well as give you the refund. But in France they do not care because there is no consumer rights at all and the big supermarket chains know that they can get away with it.
Anonymous 2022/04/22 09:41
I would like to have the opportunity to take a screenshot of the bill, as it appears on the cashier's screen.
Anonymous 2022/04/21 17:13
It is all very well banning receipts but I have often found with my local carrefour that items bought on promotion are charged at full price on the till. The only way to query this is with a proper receipt. They now ask at the till if I want a receipt which I only take if I think there may be a query on some items.

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