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Assembly Approves Ting’s “Skip the Slip” Legislation To Reduce Waste & Limit Exposure to Chemically Coated Paper Receipts

For immediate release:
Ting's AB 1347 To Reduce Paper Receipt Waste Passed The Assembly

Paper receipt, e-receipt or no receipt? The California State Assembly today approved AB 1347/Skip-The-Slip by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), giving consumers a choice over how they would like their proof-of-purchase. The legislation encourages greater adoption of electronic receipts in California starting next year to reduce the environmental impacts and the health risks posed by the paper version. 

“In this digital age, customers should have options. It doesn’t make sense to kill so many trees and produce billions pounds of carbon emissions when we buy a cup of coffee or a pack of gum,” said Ting. “AB 1347 gives customers a choice, allowing for a paper receipt when it’s needed.”

Amendments were made during the legislative process to ensure that any California business offering an electronic receipt option would be subject to the state’s consumer privacy laws. Given this change, only businesses with annual revenues over $25 million would be required to offer consumers with the option of an electronic or paper receipt, or no receipt at all. Regardless of their revenue, all paper receipts handed out at businesses must be BPA/BPS free. After two warnings, violators could be fined $25 for each day they don’t comply, with a maximum penalty of $300 per year.

“Unwanted and often immediately discarded paper receipts are a wasteful use of our natural resources. AB 1347 simply updates common proof-of-purchase practices by allowing consumers to choose more environmentally friendly alternatives,” said Nicole Kurian 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, this 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 largely 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 last year, allowing customers to pick between no receipt, an e-receipt or a paper receipt. Four months after implementation, Green America says the move saved 87 million yards of receipt paper – enough to circle the globe twice. The organization also found Whole Foods’ receipts are 50 percent shorter than they were three years ago. 

AB 1347 now heads to the Senate for consideration.