Further cementing its position as a world leader when it comes to sustainable initiatives, France has announced the end of automatically printed receipts, taking place immediately from this August as part of its move towards a circular economy
Consistently ranked as one of the most sustainable nations in Europe and the world, due to its emphasis on green initiatives and its openness to rethinking unsustainable infrastructure and practices, France is once again paving the way for a greener future though the abolishment of automatic receipt printing.
Over 30 billion receipts are printed every year in France, the majority of which are destined for waste. Research has even found that over a third of French people throw away a receipt immediately after purchase, thus voiding them of significant importance.
The French government now wants to counter this data through this new ruling, which will see paper receipts abolished at the mass majority of businesses – applying to all supermarkets and most shops.
However, it will not necessarily apply to all transactions. For instance, service providers will continue to give receipts as usual and consumers will receive a receipt when purchasing equipment.
Of course, order and practicality still applies. A customer can still request a receipt from the retailer, which can be sent by e-mail or text message. By law, retailers must make this known through a display at the till (they can’t simply refuse to offer a copy of the purchase). In addition to France, Belgium’s Wallonia is also following suit and preparing for this legislation. In the Flanders region, the environmental benefits are still being investigated before moving forward.
In many ways, France is often considered a world leader when it comes to sustainable initiatives. It is consistently ranked as one of the most sustainable nations in Europe and the world, due to its emphasis on green initiatives and its openness to rethinking unsustainable infrastructure and practices.
Here are other three ways this country is an eco-pioneer:
1 The Champs Elysées in Paris is getting an eco-makeover as part of the city’s sustainability commitment. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo approved the new decade-long $305 million project, “Re-Enchanting the Champs Elysées,” earlier in 2023 – aiming to reduce space for cars, replace them with trees and boost independent businesses instead.
Over the course of the next nine years, the 2.3-kilometer strip that runs from the Place de La Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe will undergo a green transformation. Architect Philippe Chiambaretta and his agency, PCA-STREAM, are bringing the vision to life.The project includes halving the space for cars and upping trees and green spaces, in what the agency calls “planted ‘living rooms.” The strip will also prioritize small, local shops rather than chain stores currently parked on either side of the avenue.
2 Novel tech like precision fermentation is being used to replicate fine French cheeses. Last year the Paris-based startup Nutropy raised €2 million in a Pre-Seed funding round and Standing Ovation raised more than €12 million. Both are working with microbes to develop sustainable cheese that looks, tastes, and melts just like French cheese. Of course, there’s more to this country than just its drool-worthy fromage – France has long been recognised as a leader in food sustainability, even despite its preference for animal products. The Food Sustainability Index ranked the country at the top of its list since 2016.
3 Sustainable agriculture is prevalent throughout France. The country has been a world leader in banning a certain class of pesticides linked to the decline of key pollinators, including honeybees. In 2018 it banned all neonicotinoid-based pesticides in an effort to protect the vital pollinators.By 2025, the agriculture ministry expects most of its farmers will be embracing additional sustainable practices like crop rotation to improve soil health, and the reduced use of chemical pesticides and herbicides