- Nannette Miranda
- Media Consultant
Sacramento, CA – Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) today re-introduced AB 1347, bringing back Skip the Slip legislation that encourages greater adoption of electronic receipts in California. Paper receipts have become obsolete in the digital age. Consequently, there’s no need to use up valuable natural resources and risk the health of consumers and retail workers who are exposed to the toxic chemicals that coat paper receipts.
“When we get coffee to-go or a pack of gum, most of us don’t want or need a physical receipt. It’s time we provide customers with the option to get no receipt or a digital receipt. It doesn’t make sense to kill so many trees and produce billions pounds of carbon emissions,” said Ting. “AB 1347 gives customers a choice and still provides for customers to request a paper receipt when they need it.”
If a customer requests a paper receipt, it cannot be longer than necessary and must be BPA/BPS-free. After two warnings, businesses could be fined $25 for each day they don’t comply, with a maximum penalty of $300 per year.
“Our unwanted paper receipts contribute to unrecyclable litter and expose us to toxic endocrine disruptors such as BPA. By simply offering consumers alternatives, we can stop a completely unnecessary and wasteful use of our natural resources,” said Chloe Brown from Californians Against Waste.
According to the latest report by Green America, more than 3 million trees and 10 billion gallons of water in the United States are used to create paper receipts every year. In addition, the process generates 302 million pounds of waste and 4 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of nearly a half-million cars on the road.
The public health impacts are also alarming. The Ecology Center found 93 percent of receipts contain Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Bisphenol-S (BPS), which enable text to appear on the receipt. Our bodies can absorb some of these chemicals simply by touching the receipt. BPA and BPS are known endocrine disruptors and can cause developmental and neurological problems. These risks prompted Connecticut, Illinois and the European Union to ban the use of BPA on receipt paper.
AB 1347 is Ting’s second attempt to get California to move away from paper receipts. The 2019 bill, AB 161, stalled in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Since then, some progress 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.
CVS - known for their notoriously long receipts - added a prompt at check out nearly a year ago, allowing customers to pick between no receipt, an e-receipt or a paper receipt. Four months later, 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.
Committee hearings are expected to begin in the Spring.
The video of the press conference can be found here.
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