SEOUL, Korea, April 3 (Korea Bizwire) – The receipts printed upon making transactions are doing more harm than personal data spill: waste of resources, and the fear of endocrine disruptor commonly known as environmental hormone.
However, the credit card companies and the government authorities are not coming up with any remedies to the matter.
On April 2, the credit card industry reported that 80 billion receipts are issued every year and the whole process of issuing and discarding receipts cost 270 billion won annually.
Despite all the efforts and resources put into the receipts, most receipts go straight to garbage bins. It is not hard to spot people crumpling or throwing away their receipts upon receiving them.
A clerk at a convenient store said, “The most handfuls of the trash we get to handle each day are the receipts.” Another convenient store staff said, “Asking the customers whether they want their receipts or not is rather pointless when the vast majority of them say ‘no’.”
Not only have the receipts become rather obsolete but also they are harmful to the human body.
According to a study conducted by the Korea Consumer Agency in 2011, 89 percent of the receipts issued in Seoul contain bisphenol-A, a type of environment hormone which can induce various health problems.
Experts say that the amount of bisphenol-A contained in a single receipt is about 0.2 to 0.6 microgram (μg) which is not very significant. Nevertheless, it can accumulate in the human system to cause developmental disorders for children, reproductive dysfunctions and diabetes for adults.
The real problem is that the credit card industry and the authorities do not seem either enthusiastic to solve the problem or aware of the problem itself. Back in 2012, BC Card had once come up with a “paperless” policy to reduce the waste of receipts but it has been given up for quite a while. No attempts as such are to be found in other card companies.
The digital receipt system often suggested as an alternative to the conventional paper receipts is not to be materialized any time soon. The transaction and commission systems are too complex to be integrated in one digital system for now.
Written by Robin Koo (firstname.lastname@example.org)