# Which is more economical with resources, an e-tick or a paper ticket?

I always get an e-ticket on my mobile, to save the environment and so on.

But then I thought well, am I really saving trees? I have to give my phone a full charge in order that it doesn't run out just when the conductor asks for my ticket. Which means that it needs electricity and a powerstation is burning some fosil fuels somewhere no doubt.

So that got me wondering, which would be better for the environment, if everyone got e-tickets on their phones. Or everyone got a paper ticket.

We shall assume:

• We don't count manufacture of phone. (We assume we will have one anyway).
• When phone is not used for buying tickets it is not charged up.
• One ticket per day.
• Paper ticket is on A4 paper with ink.
• E-ticket needs a full battery charge for the day.

My intuition is that an e-ticket is worse because to get the energy needed to power a phone a would think it wold require burning many hundreds of paper tickets. Is this intutition correct?

According to this study by the IATA, it costs \$1 to process an e-ticket, versus \$10 to process paper ticket. I assume this is only from the airline's point of view. You could argue that this is not the "environmental cost" you care about, but I just wanted to point it out.
• I don't understand the \$10 to process a paper ticket? A piece of paper doesn't cost \$10. If I got a ticket for a concert that cost \$10, it wouldn't cost an extra \$10 for a paper ticket that would be madness! A piece of paper would cost 1 cent, and a phone charge would cost 1 cent. Which makes both cost 1 cent each. Dec 7 '19 at 3:27
• I'm not sure I understand your comment about generating power by burning tickets. Regarding \$10, I imagine it costs airlines quite a lot for this ticket-printing machines at check in kiosks, needing then at every kiosks at every airports around the world. – Art Dec 7 '19 at 3:30 • famously airlines overcharge for everything. If I'm printing out a paper ticket to go see a play or gig that costs \$5 I fail to see how my printed ticket has cost anyone \$10. So if I print out my 100 page novel on my printer, that would cost \$1000? I don't think so. Maybe \$5 for the paper and \$5 for the ink. Either way they'll be a man at the door checking people's tickets, paper or otherwise. Dec 7 '19 at 3:47