California bill would bar, fine businesses' for using paper receipts
If business' do not give customers an e-receipt, they could be fined up to $300
A bill in California's state assembly takes aim at paper receipts and if passed, would ban businesses from handing customers receipts unless they specifically ask for it. In the reintroduced "Skip the Slip" bill, businesses would be charged up to $300 if they continue to pass out paper receipts.
Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, introduced Assembly Bill 1347, and shared that his bill is an easy way to reduce paper waste in the state while addressing consumers’ frustrations with excessively long receipts.
"When we get coffee to-go or a pack of gum, most of us don’t want or need a physical receipt. It’s time we provide customers with the option to get no receipt or a digital receipt. It doesn’t make sense to kill so many trees and produce billions pounds of carbon emissions," Ting said in a press release. "AB 1347 gives customers a choice and still provides for customers to request a paper receipt when they need it."
The bill would require stores to use electronic receipts as the default option. Stores that continue to give out printed receipts could be subject to a civil penalty of $25 per day, capping at an annual $300.
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In Ting's legislation, the lawmaker argues that paper receipts harm the environment and are harmful to humans.
Advocacy group Green America estimated that millions of trees and billions of gallons of water are used annually to produce paper receipts in the United States. In his legislation, Ting shared that receipts generated over 300 million pounds of waste and 4 billion pounds of carbon dioxide.
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Ting cited studies by the Environmental Working Group and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that retail workers have higher concentrations of BPA or BPS than those who do not have regular contact with receipts.
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Ting's "Skip the Slip" bill is modeled after a California law which requires plastic straws to be given in dine-in restaurants only upon request. In Sept. 2018, former California Gov. Jerry Brown made California the first state to bar full-service restaurants from automatically giving out single-use plastic straws.