STATEWIDE – California Assembly Member Phil Ting held a press conference for the “Skip the Slip” bill, Thursday, that would require businesses to print out receipts only when customers ask for them. Ting says the bill would save 3 million trees and 10 billion gallons of water yearly, in addition to reducing human exposure to the receipt’s toxic chemical coating.
With Assembly Bill 1347, if a customer requests a paper receipt, it cannot be longer than necessary. It must also be Bisphenol-A (BPA) or Bisphenol-S (BPS) free. The state would fine businesses after two warnings, $25 for each day they don’t comply, with a maximum penalty of $300 per year.
BPA and BPS Coated Receipts
According to a 2020 Green America report an estimated 93 percent of paper receipts are coated with BPA or BPS — endocrine-disruptors which serve as color-developers to make the text appear on receipts.
“When we touch receipts, the chemical coating is absorbed into our bodies through our hands. BPA impacts fetal development and is linked to reproductive impairment, type 2 diabetes, thyroid conditions, and other health concerns. Companies have sought out “non-BPA” paper, but the replacement is commonly BPS, a similar chemical which research indicates has similarly detrimental effects as BPA,” states the report.
Ting also stated, during the livestream conference, that since the chemical coating is on the receipts – they are not recyclable.
“In many parts of the state, we are moving towards composting. Many waste haulers will allow you to put soiled paper in a compost bin. What happens when you put something with BPA, BPS – it actually contaminates your compost,” said Ting.
He gave the example of a pizza box containing a receipt. When placed into a compost bin — the receipt will contaminate it.
Skip the Slip Results
This is the second time Ting has introduced the bill. The 2019 bill, AB 161, stalled in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Since then, some movement has been made due to the widespread debate the original bill sparked, including support from late night host Jimmy Kimmel, and efforts by Green America.
“What’s great is since we introduced the bill three years ago, we’ve had a huge change around how consumers, how retailers are actually interfacing with customers. There is so much more demand for contactless payment,” said Ting. “We went through a pandemic where we didn’t want to touch things – we didn’t want to receive things. So we saw retailers adapt.”
Green America says that their campaign against printed receipts resulted in CVS implementing phenol-free paper in all 10,000 stores.
In addition CVS added a prompt at check out nearly a year ago, allowing customers to pick between no receipt, an e-receipt or a paper receipt. Green America says the move saved 87 million yards of receipt paper — enough to circle the globe twice. The organization also reports Whole Foods’ receipts are 50 percent shorter than they were in 2019.
Green America surveyed Americans on receipt preferences. They learned that 89 percent of respondents would like retailers to offer digital receipts as an option. The primary reasons people cited why they prefer digital receipts — the environment and ease of receipt storage.
Committee hearings for AB 1347 are expected to begin in the Spring.
To read the full AB 1347 visit https://thehdpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/20230AB1347_99.pdf