SACRAMENTO – Legislation introduced in California this week seeks to aid the environment and lessen the exposure of consumers and employees to chemical compounds.
If Assembly Bill 161 passes, California businesses may be required to provide customers with an electronic receipt instead of a printed one, unless the paper version is specifically requested by 2022.
"There's a negative impact on the environment with these receipts and the inability to recycle them," said Assemblyman Phil Ting, who introduced the legislation.
The new measure, nicknamed the Skip the Slip bill, targets the environment and chemicals, including bisphenol A (BPA) and bisphenol S (BPS) which are commonly used as water-resistant coatings. According to Restaurant Business Online, “the so-called endocrine inhibitors are suspected of being carcinogens and potential causes of diabetes and reproductive problems.”
Proponents of the bill say that 93% of the receipts provided by retail businesses are coated with BPA and BPS. Additionally, saving paper would deflect 686 million pounds of solid waste away from landfills, save 21 billion gallons of water and spare 10 million trees.
Currently, language in AB 161 states that fines of up to $300 per year could be incurred for stores who violate the mandate for digital receipts.
If the legislation passes, California would be the first state to ban retailers from giving out printed receipts unless a customer asks for one. On a similar environmental front, the state passed a bill to curb the use of single-use plastic straws last year.