Cash register receipts use 3,680,000 trees and 10 billion gallons of water every year in the US. Production and disposal of receipt paper generates unnecessary waste and emits the carbon equivalent of over 471,000 cars on the road.
An estimated 93 percent of paper receipts are made of “thermal” paper and are coated with Bisphenol-A (BPA) or Bisphenol-S (BPS), endocrine-disruptors that are linked to fetal development issues, reproductive impairment, type 2 diabetes, thyroid conditions, and other health concerns. The amount of BPA on a receipt is up to 1,000 times greater than BPA in a plastic bottle or food can, according to the Environmental Working Group. Retail employees experience the highest levels of exposure, as studies show workers who have regular contact with receipts have over 30 percent more BPA or BPS found in their bodies.
Next time you make a purchase in a store and have the option to select a digital receipt, choose to skip the paper slip. Dispose of any paper receipts in the regular trash bin instead of the recycle bin–recycling centers do not want thermal paper.