Skip the Slip
Thanks to our Skip the Slip campaign to address the toxicity, resource use, and waste of paper receipts, the first-ever bill to tackle paper receipts was introduced in California on January 8, 2019.
This new bill in the California Assembly would make the state the first in the U.S. to mandate that retailers must offer digital receipts as the default to customers starting January 1, 2022. Customers will still be able to request a paper receipt in lieu of a digital receipt. Reflecting the focus of Green America’s “Skip the Slip” campaign, the bill, introduced by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), will help protect consumers and workers from the toxins that often coat paper-based receipts, while also creating substantial environmental benefits.
Green America July 3 2019
In June 2019, Green America released the second version of our "Skip the Slip" report, which outlines the environmental impacts and health risks of thermal paper receipts and proposes alternatives. Key findings include:
- Consumption of thermal paper for receipts is increasing worldwide, including in the US, according to recent market analysis conducted by Grand View Research. In 2018, US consumption was 256,300 metric tons of paper and this is projected to increase at least through 2025.
- US receipt use consumes over three million trees and nine billion gallons of water each year. Receipt production generates over four billion pounds of greenhouse gases (the equivalent of 450,000 cars on the road) and 302 million pounds of solid waste. - There are escalating costs for businesses automatically printing receipts that often are tossed in the trash. In 2018, market revenue for paper receipts in the US was over $386 million. Due to a severe shortage of leuco dye needed for thermal paper, costs will steadily increase each year. It’s projected that market revenue for paper receipts will surpass $566 million by 2025.
To find the full report, please visit: https://www.greenamerica.org/report-STS
Every year, US receipt production consumes over 3 million trees and 9 billion gallons of water. This emits 4 billion pounds of CO2 and generates 302 million pounds of solid waste (from production & disposal). And most thermal paper receipts are coated with BPA or BPS, posing risks to worker & customer health as well as making them unfit to recycle.
BPA has been banned from other items because it contributes to developmental, reproductive, and neurological problems. Customers handles a dozen paper receipts every week, and employees may touch thousands in the same time period. Environmental Working Group analysis of Center for Disease Control data shows that retail workers are shown to have 30% more BPA in their systems than other adults.
Many retailers are already making the choice to move away from using these papers, but the majority of stores still need to take action. Green America wants to eliminate the use of thermal paper coated in toxins and reduce the unnecessary waste from paper receipts used by companies like CVS.
CVS finally rolled out digital receipts in 2016, but its failure to promote this option has resulted in just 5% of its customers using digital. And its use of receipt paper coated in BPS continues to pose health risks to its workers and customers.