‘Skip the Slip:’ California bill discourages paper receipts

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SACRAMENTO, California — If a lawmaker in California has his way, the state will become the first in the country to require businesses to offer electronic receipts unless customers ask for paper copies.

Phil Ting is a Democratic Assemblyman from San Francisco. He said the law is needed because paper receipts are coated with chemicals prohibited in baby bottles, can’t be recycled and can contaminate other recycled paper because of the chemicals known as Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Bisphenol-S (BPS), KTLA reported.

Ting’s bill would require all businesses to provide proof of purchase receipt electronically starting in 2022 unless a customer asks for a printed copy.

Critics say the proposal could be a burden for small businesses, won’t save that much paper and may not be practical in rural areas without internet connections.

Ting said businesses can save money by moving away from printed receipts.

Ting said consumers can still request paper receipts if they are worried about giving out their email addresses.

The advocacy group Green America, which is pushing a “Skip the Slip” campaign, estimated that paper-based receipts:

  • Use 10 million trees
  • Consume 21 billion gallons of water
  • Generate 686 million pounds of waste and 12 billion pounds of CO2

While introducing his proposal, Ting cited studies by the Environmental Working Group and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that show retail workers have higher concentrations of BPA or BPS than those who do not have regular contact with receipts.

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