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

Amy Brooke
Amy Brooke - [email protected]
France pushes back plan to begin phasing out paper receipts for shoppers again
A checkout worker scans items at a supermarket in Septemes-les-Vallons near Marseille. France has again delayed its plan to phase out paper receipts for shoppers. Photo: Christophe SIMON / 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 for the second time, due to concerns around inflation.

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Part of a French anti-waste law voted on in 2020, the new regulation to do away with automatically printed receipts (tickets de caisse) is now not set to come into force before the summer of 2023.

It had been due to come into effect on January 1st, 2023, before being pushed back to April 1st. 

"We don't think it's the right time for this measure to come into force," the office of the Minister for Small Businesses, Olivia Gregoire, told Le Parisien daily. 

"We have feedback from the ground, we are having discussions with consumer associations and with large retailers, who tell us, that in the face of inflation, many French people want to check the accuracy of the amount [they're spending] when they go shopping," the office said. 

According to national statistics institute Insee, prices have climbed 6 percent over the course of the year from February 2022 to February 2023, with food prices jumping 14.8 percent over that period.

A new date is set to announced at the start of next week with two dates currently under discussion, according to Le Parisien – 1st August and 1st September.

"Our preference is for 1st August," Gregoire's office told the daily because "September is the time for back-to-school purchases so it risks being even more disruptive".

However, even once the new rules comes into force, customers will still be able to request a printed receipt if they would like one. 

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According to French government website 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.

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