SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A 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 assembly member Phil Ting (Democrat-San Francisco), will help protect consumers and workers from the toxins that often coat paper-based receipts, while also creating substantial environmental benefits.
“We applaud assembly member Ting for introducing legislation that will protect the health of California workers and consumers, while protecting the environment,” said Green America’s climate and recycling director Beth Porter.
“Over time, this legislation would prevent millions of trees from being logged for paper receipts, which fewer and fewer consumers want, and which often go straight to landfills. This bill will make California a leader in addressing the impacts of paper-based receipts.”
“Retailers who have adopted digital receipts are already seeing benefits in terms of reduced costs and greater connection to their customers,” said Green America’s executive co-director Todd Larsen.
“Assembly member Ting’s bill will benefit retailers, workers, and consumers in California, and it will be an important step forward in addressing the increasing impacts of paper-based receipts.”
Green America’s “Skip the Slip” report documented the following national impacts annually of paper-based receipts:
- Use 10 million trees
- Consume 21 billion gallons of water
- Generate 686 million pounds of waste and 12 billion pounds of CO2
In addition, research from Ecology Center estimates 93 per cent of paper receipts are coated with Bisphenol-A (BPA) or Bisphenol-S (BPS), known endocrine-disruptors. These toxins are absorbed when people touch receipts and are linked to serious health problems, including numerous types of cancer, diabetes, and reproductive issues. The environmental and health impacts of paper-based receipts highlight the need for retailers to adopt digital receipts.
Skip the Slip 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. There are major companies that have successfully adopted many of these solutions, including Best Buy, Apple, Lidl Grocery, and Trader Joe’s.