Rainbow Grocery Coop is finally able to provide customers and workers with a non-toxic register receipt. Over a year ago, studies showed that the bisphenol-A (BPA)-free receipts we were using still contained bisphenol-S (BPS), also an endocrine disrupting substance. Like BPA, it is easily absorbed through the skin.
However, although the industry still claims that BPA-free, BPS-coated papers (as well as plastic products) are “safe”, there is enough controversy that a few paper manufacturers, processers, and distributors are now providing receipt papers without any toxic phenol content.
As our supplier’s main customer for the BPA-free receipt rolls (would you believe it!), we have been at least partly instrumental in providing a demand for BPA/BPS-free receipts. Now we will be the first in the Bay Area to provide these phenol-free receipts. We hope that successful use of these new receipts will encourage other businesses to make the change as well.
Our receipts are now safe to recycle; but keep in mind that you will still be getting the toxic receipts from other stores and you should discard them as soon as possible. Put them in the trash, not the recycling bin where they have been shown to contaminate the recycling stream. These receipts can contaminate other things as well, so wash your hands frequently and don’t let your children play with them. When shopping, look for BPA/BPS free drinking containers and use glass not plastic baby bottles.
Our new phenol-free receipts are manufactured using Vitamin C instead of phenols, and therefore have a natural yellow tint.
Rainbow Grocery is committed to the health of its workers and customers and continues to research and offer the best options as they become available.
For more details, read on below, or talk to a member of our Ecology Committee.
Our new register paper uses a vitamin C product as the image developer. The new register systems don’t use ink. Instead they use heat printing to develop an image on a paper coating. The Vitamin C coating is less reactive to heat and results in a lighter image than our old receipts. However, our new receipts will last for years and can be scanned.
Another supplier we know might be using a different chemical, also supposed to be benign, but in both cases we are unable to get more information about any of these ingredients.
Lack of information and regulation
One problem identifying toxins in consumer products is that manufacturers claim “trade secrets” in order to not release chemical compositions. Regulatory agencies do not require manufacturers to test for safety before putting products on the
market. There is information (MSDS sheets) for many chemical products but not for all “inactive” ingredients or for papers.
Spreading the word
We plan to help spread the information about phenols in register receipts to stores in our coop networks and help them make the switch. Together we might be able to access independent testing to ensure the information we are receiving is accurate.
If you’d like to know possible sources for these new receipt rolls, call our Ecology Committee at 415-863-0620 or email them at Ecology@rainbow.coop . We can provide you with our wholesalers’/distributors’ information.
For more information on endocrine disrupters in BPS/BPA and their negative health effects, search the internet for endocrine disrupters (BPA/BPS) or see these links: