By Catherine Colbert

We all know the drill: “Paper or plastic?” But when it comes to receipts there hasn’t been a choice — until now. allEtronic, a Fullerton, Calif., company knows that paper receipts are a nuisance and wants to rid the retail experience of those paper tag-a-longs that billow out of your purse, bulge inside your wallet, and languish in Rubbermaid containers in your closet.

The process of printing a receipt for every purchase depletes more resources than we consumers care to imagine. “Our technology will completely eliminate the production of receipt paper, which as we know is having a damaging effect on our environment,” says Isaac Lay, co-founder and CEO of allEtronic.

The company shares an office with its parent as a unit of Cyndigo Corporation, which has been in operation since late 2004 and develops and markets point-of-sale (POS) systems as part of its business.
allEtronic is a service developed from its POS division that soon could be available at a store near you.

The company has compiled the data: In one month, a single big-box retailer will print enough receipts to wrap around the circumference of the Earth – twice, it says. Printing receipts burns through 9 million trees each year, allEtronic claims. And for each ton of paper that’s manufactured, it takes 390 gallons of oil and more than 19,000 gallons of water, while producing enough CO2 emissions a year to equal that of 13 million cars.

allEtronic has built a business that addresses this environmental problem and boasts advantages for consumers and retailers alike. Its service is designed for digital cash registers that run point of purchase applications. When allEtronic’s software recognizes the customer, it blocks the receipt from being printed and redirects the receipt to be printed digitally on its servers. The company is working with a top Major League Baseball stadium and a college, among others, and it’s scheduled to appear at several trade shows, including the National Retail Federation’s BIG Show held in New York at the Jacob K. Javits Center in January 2009.

Customers who shop at retailers supported by allEtronic receive a paperless receipt by setting up a free allEtronic account that links to accounts for their credit or debit cards. Businesses that enlist the allEtronic service reduce the cost of providing printed receipts or coupons at checkout while also helping the environment. Behemoth retailers the likes of Wal-Mart would stand to save substantial operational costs if they participated and their customers choose the paperless receipts option.

U.S. Consumers eventually throw away enough receipts in a year to fill more than 2 million garbage trucks, according to allEtronic. For those of us who accumulate a hefty stack of credit card receipts and those mile-long grocery store versions with the colorful ads on the back, here’s a green solution that could free up space in the glove box.

Copyright © 2008 | Distributed by Noofangle Media