I recently read about a therapy that could revolutionise cancer treatment. Scientists now believe it is possible to harness our own immune systems to fight cancer, potentially making traumatic treatments such as chemotherapy redundant. It's mind-bogglingly futuristic, fantastic stuff.

Why is it we are so ahead on some issues, and so archaic on others?

Take receipts, for example. At a time when most governments - even that of China - admit we need to battle climate change, shops, bars and restaurants globally still print off a piece of paper nearly every time we buy something.

What good is a receipt for a glass of wine? For an Indian takeaway? For a pack of chewing gum? Am I going to be able to get a refund if it isn't chewy enough?

At my local supermarket, there is a huge bin after the checkouts, overflowing with unwanted receipts.

Sometimes, of course, you need a receipt: after buying armfuls of ill-fitting clothes without trying them on first (no? Is that just me?) or when purchasing electronics.

Apple does it right. When you make a purchase in one of its stores, a sales assistant emails you a receipt: it is more environmentally friendly and easier to file.

Moaning about receipts probably seems trivial, but in terms of scale, it's actually a huge issue. And one that is so easy to solve. Why has no one invented Receipt App, or made an online banking system that automatically keeps an electronic wallet of all your "receipts"?

If we can get our own bodies to rid us of awful diseases, why aren't we finding a way to stop polluting the Earth with unnecessary paper?