Most receipts you are given in stores are printed on thermal paper, a shiny substance coating your paper receipts called bisphenol (BPA or BPS). This chemical is very harmful to the environment so make sure not to add them to your recyclables. Or eat them if you were ever inclined to.
BPA and BPS have been banned from most plastic products because they are harmful when ingested: they can disrupt the hormone balance causing infertility and other problems.
It's costing UK businesses £32 million per year to hand out 11.2 billion receipts, as they are obliged to provide proof of purchase to consumers.
What is the best way to lower the amount of wasteful paper receipts?
Many stores offer digital receipts, but this can be uncomfortable for customers as you have to give the store your email address. Another option is using Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay, where just using your phone for contactless payments gives you a digital confirmation of your purchase. The problem with this is that you can't make purchases over £30. Another option are plug-ins like Flux and Transaction Tree for your phone. I hadn't heard of this before (I really don't go shopping much), but these are plug-in that works with other apps on your phone (like your banking app). It will require major efforts from stores to integrate these, but it seems the way forward as most people have smartphones nowadays.