Toxic Paper Receipts Jeopardize Health Of Millions
Nearly every consumer handles almost a dozen paper receipts every week, and retail store employees may touch thousands in the same time. But few are aware of the toxic nature of the paper receipts, which utilize Bisphenol-A (BPA) or Bisphenol-S (BPS). Even fewer know of the major environmental and climate harms linked to the receipts, which can be easily avoided now that digital sales confirmations are readily available.
An estimated 93 percent of paper receipts are coated with Bisphenol-A (BPA) or Bisphenol-S (BPS) (known endocrine-disruptors). Paper receipts coated with BPA contain between 0.8 to nearly 3 percent pure BPA by weight. The total mass of BPA on a receipt is 250 to 1,000 times greater than the amount of BPA found in a can of food or baby formula, or in plastic baby bottles. Retail employees are at the greatest risk, as studies show workers who have regular contact with receipts have over 30 percent more BPA or BPS found in their bodies, and many employees may exceed the European Union’s limit for safe amount of BPA to absorb in a day.
In the United States alone, paper receipt production uses an estimated 12.4 million trees, 13.2 billion gallons of water, and emits 4 billion pounds of CO2 each year. If just one company as large as Walgreens – with nearly six million customers every day – ends the use of paper receipts, over 55,000 trees and 58.8 million gallons of water are saved, and 17.6 million pounds of CO2 will be prevented from entering the atmosphere.
Cost-effective digital and non-toxic receipt solutions for retailers can protect their employees and customers, and reduce their impacts on the environment, while reducing fraud and increasing sales.