CVS eliminates enough paper receipts to reach the moon

CVS pharmacy

Our Skip the Slip campaign confronts the problem of super long receipts, which are a waste of paper and water and usually not recyclable, and receipts coated in BPA and BPA, which are harmful to human health.

We focused on CVS since it was notorious for its very long receipts, urging CVS to boost customer access to and participation in its digital receipt program instead of providing paper receipts.

In response, CVS has achieved the following:

Within four months, CVS saved 87 million yards of receipt paper, enough to circle the globe twice.

  • Initially marketed digital receipts to their ExtraCare members and then expanded it so all customers could choose digital-only receipts.
  • Started explicitly asking customers at cash registers if they want a printed receipt, digital receipt or no receipt in April 2022. Within four months, CVS saved 87 million yards of receipt paper, enough to circle the globe twice. At this rate, it will have saved enough paper to reach the moon in a year and a half.
  • Implemented recyclable, BPA/BPS-free receipt paper in all 10,000 of its stores.
  • Shortened paper receipt length for those customers who choose paper receipts.
  • Phased out print circulars with ads in 2/3 of its markets, resulting in a 70 percent reduction of paper use.
  • Converted its pharmacy bags to unbleached paper made with 90 percent recycled content that are recyclable. 
  • Launched a new online portal to replace paper-based drug fact sheets, saving an additional 700 million pages of paper.
  • Continues to send more and more digital receipts, sending 58 million digital receipts in 2019, 104 million digital receipts in 2020, and even more in 2021.
  • Saved $50 million in reduced paper expenses by cutting waste and boosting digital communication.
  • Enrolled 7.3 million ExtraCare members in digital receipts — an 11% increase over 2020.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Skip the Slip campaign. Thanks to you, CVS made big progress on saving resources and protecting human health. This is a very big win for people and the planet.

Together, we are creating change.

Read more about the impact of receipts and what CVS and other major retailers such as Apple, Ben & Jerry's, and Target are doing in our most recent Skip the Slip report.