Till receipts set to fade into history for shoppers at most Co-op stores

The East of England Co-op supermarket on Norwich Road, Acle. Picture: James Bass Photography

The East of England Co-op supermarket on Norwich Road, Acle. Picture: James Bass Photography - Credit: JAMES BASS PHOTOGRAPHY

Till receipts could become a thing of the past for most shoppers at East of England Co-op stores as the society tries to battle against paper waste.

Joint chief executive Roger Grosvenor said the Co-op is planning to stop issuing till receipts for purchases of less than £10 in a move that will slash the number of till-rolls it uses.

That will save money and should be good for the environment – most shoppers just screw up and throw away their receipts as soon as they leave the store.

Mr Grosvenor said: 'We spend £80,000 a year on till rolls – and 70% of purchases are under £10. I am looking at changing the software so till receipts are only printed if customers ask for them.

'There will be some purchases where it is necessary to print receipts – like if you buy water or electricity – but in most cases we don't think people will want them. Most customers have thrown the receipt away before they leave the shop.'

He said that in Britain 26,000 miles of till receipts were printed every week – well over a million miles a year – and this was an issue that the industry had been looking to tackle.

Several of the largest supermarkets including Tesco and Sainsburys no longer automatically issue receipts for small purchases.

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Mr Grosvenor said: 'Obviously it would be good for us to be able to cut the amount we spend on till rolls to about £10,000 a year – and it would also be good for the environment not to have little pieces of paper blowing around.'

There is no legal requirement for stores to offer till receipts – but reprogramming tills to make them optional for purchases under £10 does require new software.

However Mr Grosvenor said this was an initiative he was driving forward and he hoped it would be introduced in the reasonably near future.

This is the latest environmental initiative from the Co-op – last year it started selling food that was beyond its 'best before' date but was still fit for human consumption.

That has now been extended to other products, including some bakery lines, and Mr Grosvenor said the initiative was proving very successful – it was saving a considerable amount of perfectly good food being sent to be dealt with as waste.

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