France pushes back plan to begin phasing out paper receipts for shoppers

The Local France
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France pushes back plan to begin phasing out paper receipts for shoppers
A person holds a receipt in France in 2002 (Photo by ERIC FEFERBERG / AFP)

A new French anti-waste law - which could spell the end of paper sales receipts in France - which was set to go into effect in the new year has been pushed back due to concerns around inflation and implementation.


If you live in France, or are planning to visit in the next few months, you might find your pockets or the bottom of your purse a bit emptier, as the country is doing away with automatically printed receipts (cash register tickets).

Part of a French anti-waste law voted on in 2020, the new regulation was set to come into effect January 1st, 2023, but instead has been pushed back to April 1st. It aims to fight "against the dangerous substances present in cash register tickets" and "to remedy the significant waste that these tickets represent," according to the French government website Service-Public.


According to Service-Public, there are at least 30 billion sales receipts printed each year, creating lots of waste.

Parts of the anti-waste law have already come into effect, outlawing things like single-use plastic cutlery and coffee and cups and limiting packaging on food.

READ MORE: How France’s new anti-waste laws will affect you

The initiation of the new regulation regarding paper receipts was meant to start at the beginning of 2023, but on December 15th the French government announced it would be pushing it back after receiving feedback from retailers and consumers that printed receipts were important amid inflation to very the price of products purchased.

The Minister for Small Businesses, Olivia Gregoire, told Le Monde on Thursday that pushing back the application of the new regulation to April will also allow retailers more time to plan for how they will adapt to the new rules.

When the new rules go into effect in April, they will apply broadly, according to Ouest France, "both large and medium sized stores" across France, as well as "any establishment receiving the public where receipts are issued" will have to respect the anti-waste regulation.

This also includes vending machines and bank card tickets as well, according to Service-Public.

Customers can, however, still request a printed receipt if they would like one. 

Additionally, those who want a record of what they purchased or how much it cost can also request a non-printed receipt - either in the form of an email, text message, or perhaps on their online profile with the store (if they hold a loyalty card).

As for companies' perspectives, the "Federation of Commerce and Distribution" told Ouest France that French businesses were not "asking for this law," but "are keen to respect [it]" and that they are committed to reducing their environmental impact.

READ MORE: From takeways to coffee cups: Here’s what France’s new anti-waste law means

Helpful vocabulary


Receipt - ticket de caisse, un reçu

Non-printed receipt/ e-ticket - ticket de caisse dématérialisé

Waste - Gaspillage

Could I please have a receipt printed? - Est-ce que je pourrais avoir un reçu imprimé ?

Could I please have a receipt by text message? Est-ce que je pourrais avoir le ticket de caisse par SMS ? 

Could I please have a receipt by email? - Est-ce que je pourrais avoir le ticket de caisse par mail ? 

I have a loyalty card. Could you please upload the receipt to the online portal/ application? J'ai une l carte de fidélité. Est-ce que vous pouvez envoyer le ticket de caisse dans mon espace personnel dans l'application ?


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