Paper receipts are seemingly unavoidable and innocuous by-products of the average consumer. Buying anything from a computer mouse to an air conditioning unit adds to the numerous rolls of paper that fill up your pockets, wallets, and kitchen counters on a daily basis. But think about that for a second. Imagine how many piles of paper receipts you collect in a year and multiply that by the number of people in your country.
Why It’s a Problem
The U.S. alone stacks up to 686 million pounds of paper receipt waste in just one year. That generates 12 billion pounds of carbon dioxide which, for those of you having a difficult time imagining a dozen billion pounds of gas, is equal to one million cars on the road. Across the pond, 1.5 billion pounds of paper receipts are tossed annually; the equivalent of about 4 million trees cut down only to end up in everyone’s trash bin fives minutes after getting it from a cashier.
Moreover, not many people realize that these paper receipts are toxic. They’re coated with a chemical known as Bisphenol-A (BPA) or it’s alternative Bisphenol-S (BPS), which is a hormone disruptor that’s absorbed through the skin. It’s known to cause reproductive impairment and a plethora of other things. The worst part is that thermal paper like the kind used to make paper receipts isn’t safely recyclable because as it decomposes it releases its toxic coatings to the environment.
Despite not being the top priority for many environmental movements, paper receipts are obviously becoming a problem.
Introducing Innstal: An Alternative to Paper Receipts and Manuals
Innstal is an app developed by Ishu Singh that is designed as a safe haven for receipts, warranties, and manuals. While in its current stage the app requires the user to manually enter the warranty information from existing receipts, the team behind the app is working to turn it into a centralized platform for both the consumers and the companies to safety store product information paper-free. This essentially removes the need for paper receipts and physical warranty cards altogether, especially for products that deem it necessary like electronics and appliances.
But while paper-free receipts and warranties might not yet be a possibility, Innstal does already offer an extensive database of nearly 1.5 million manuals available for download. Enough to feasibly deem physical user manuals unnecessary. With this service, Innstal is already taking the necessary steps to replace needless paper waste associated with product purchasing.
Next Steps for Innstal
With his envisioned development, Singh plans to approach big-name companies to use his app as the e-receipt platform he sees it becoming. “I believe that Innstal will change the before and after-sale support industry forever,” says the company’s founder.
Having these companies support Innstal as their e-receipt platform will not only beneficial for both parties but should also be beneficial to the consumers. Imaging buying any electronic device and having the product’s receipt, user manual, and warranty be sent to your phone directly with zero paper trail.
While being seemingly obligatory concomitant to every purchase we make, the simple truth is that paper receipts, as well as physical user manuals and warranties, can and should be avoided. Certain measures such as not asking for a receipt can be taken, but in cases where it’s necessary, opt for an e-receipt if possible. Innstal, especially after further developed, could potentially reduce worldwide paper waste on a drastic scale, becoming a convenient, paper-free alternative to a 700 million-pound pile of toxic waste.