Wait – should we actually be recycling our receipts?

Yes or no?

Many people are trying to eliminate single-use plastic from their day-to-day lives by investing in reusable cups and buying fresh fruit and veg. Nowadays, many high-street coffee chains offer money off if customers bring in their own cup, and supermarkets are slowly catching on by reducing the amount of packaging they use for their products.

So it’s fair to say that in 2018, everyone is much more conscious about waste.

But what should we do when it comes to receipts? Have you ever thought about what you should do with the many scraps of shiny paper crammed into the depths of your handbag?

While some people keep hold of every receipt they ever get, others are quick to chuck theirs in the bin or leave them at the tills.

If you’re trying to do your bit to save the planet, and you’ve made various lifestyle tweaks to ensure you’re doing your bit, should you be recycling your receipts?

recycling receipts

Credit: Nigel R Barklie/REX/Shutterstock

According to Wired, around half of the receipts we are given are printed on shiny, thermal paper which is actually non-recyclable because it’s made from multiple materials. They also contain BPA and BPS chemicals, which are potentially harmful, hence why they’ve been banned from things like single-use plastic water bottles.

If these were recycled, it would release more BPA into the air.

Around 7,300 tonnes of the receipts that are printed cannot be recycled, and a new study suggests that British retailers hand out a staggering 11.2 billion receipts every year.

So what should you do with any thermal receipt you’re given? The simple answer is: you just need to bin them.

Sadly there’s not much you can do about thermal receipts, but many stores are now offering digital receipts which can be emailed to you instead so you can go completely paperless if the option is there.

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