The Minister for Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek has unveiled an industry-led initiative, FutureProof, aimed at transforming the way Australians receive and manage receipts, following the launch of new world-first research.

The Life Journey of an Average Receipt report, commissioned by Slyp and undertaken by the University Technology Sydney (UTS), revealed that Australia prints more than 10.6 billion paper receipts every year, many of which are printed on non-recyclable paper and contain toxic chemicals including Bisphenol A (BPA) and substitutes.

The research also explored the supply chain impact of printing those paper receipts in comparison to issuing the same number in digital alternatives.

Supply chain impact Printed thermal paper receipts Processing digital receipts 
Number of trees150,462 0
Litres of water1,562,636,1890
Metric tonnes of carbon 96,2273,037
Kilowatts of energy104,746,7757,192,800

The UTS report suggests that Australia should consider a hybrid receipting model, offering both paper and digital services.

In October 2023, a group of organisations including retailers, technology companies, financial institutions and industry associations met for an initial kick-off meeting to discuss how FutureProof could play a role in transforming the way consumers engage with receipts in Australia.

Slyp CEO, Paul Weingarth was one of the attendees at the initial FutureProof kick-off meeting and emphasised the importance of the industry coming together to drive change. “FutureProof is another great example of how we as a nation can come together to drive positive change aimed at creating a better future,” he said.

“Receipts are a key part of the transaction exchange between a buyer and a seller. However, printing and handling paper does not align with the way we as consumers make purchases. Almost 40% of Australians have stopped carrying a physical wallet or card and instead rely on their smart devices to complete payments. By switching to a digital-first mindset, we can create a transaction experience that’s more convenient for the customer and more environmentally friendly for our planet.”  

Organisations present at the FutureProof kick off meeting included the Australian Payments Network, Australian Retailers Association, Chemist Warehouse, Consumers’ Federation of Australia, Council of Small Business Organisations Australia, Google, NAB, Scentre Group, Slyp, The Volte, UTS, Visa and Woolworths Group.