In the US, over 10 million trees1 and 21 billion gallons of water are consumed each year to create paper receipts, generating 686 million pounds of waste and 12 billion pounds of CO2. An estimated 93% of paper receipts are coated with BPA (the same chemical banned from plastic bottles) or BPS (a similar replacement chemical), and should not be recycled2.
Well-meaning people who try to recycle thermal receipts coated with bisphenols can contaminate recovered fiber. Research suggests that these paper receipts can contribute to human health issues. BPA is shown to contribute to developmental, reproductive, and neurological problems3.
Consumers handles a dozen paper receipts every week, and retail store employees may touch thousands in the same time. Retail workers are shown to have 30% more BPA in their systems than other adults and many employees may exceed the European Union’s limit for safe amount of BPA to absorb in a day (which is 4 micrograms per kilogram of body weight)4.
Nearly 81% of Americans were shown to have detectable levels of BPS in their urine, and 90% of human exposure to BPS comes from thermal paper receipts coated with the substance. Many retailers are already making the choice to move away from using these papers, but the majority of stores still need to take action.
The Solution: Skip the Slip
Green America's goal is to eliminate these toxins from thermal paper and to reduce the waste of resources by paper receipts. We urge major companies to offer paperless receipt options and non-toxic, recyclable paper for customers needing a hard copy.
Our Skip the Slip campaign is one of the first initiatives in the United States to analyze environmental impacts of receipt waste, propose financially-savvy solutions to businesses to improve receipt practices, and engage customers in taking action.
Green America's Skip the Slip report highlights cost-effective digital and non-toxic solutions for retailers to protect their employees and customers, and reduce their impacts on the environment, while reducing fraud and increasing sales. Businesses will walk away from this report with a deeper understanding of the surprising impacts receipts have on the environment and human health, and also be equipped with next steps for better receipt practices. Access the full report here.
We have had many big breakthroughs recently. Major companies across all industries ar changing -- proof of the power of consumer pressure. We are witnessing how our economic power is truly changing the world for good and towards a simpler, more sustainable way of living. We are winning and we are opening doors for more businesses to go green.
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Thermal paper receipts pose problems from environmental impacts to human health, and we have outlined those issues in our Skip the Slip campaign. Skip the Slip aims to see transactions which protect customer and employee health and have less of a…