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:
Come to Rainbow on Thursday evenings in October for these classes and events by your favorite local cooperatives. All events are free and will be held in Rainbow’s meeting space at 1769 Folsom Street.
Thursday October 9th, 7:00-8:00 pm
Bike flat repair class and prevention tips
Box Dog Bikes is back again to provide a bike flat repair demo for coop month. The free class will cover how to prevent bike flats from happening, and how to repair them if they do. Anyone can get a flat, but there’s no reason a flat tire means the end of your ride. Bike tools will be provided for the demonstration. Bring your bike or a wheel to practice on.
Box Dog Bikes is a worker-owned cooperative bicycle sales and repair shop at 14th and Guerrero streets in San Francisco, CA. They focus on selling bikes and accessories that are versatile and comfortable, as good on the daily commute as they are on a week long bike tour. On the repair side, they take pride in their quick turn around, friendly service, and attention to detail.
Thursday October 16th, 6:30-8:00pm
Coop Panel: Why shop coop? How your local worker coop grocery stores help our community, workers and the environment.
Workers from Mandela Foods, Other Avenues Food Store, and Rainbow Grocery will talk about how worker-owned, cooperative grocery stores are unique contributors to our community. Learn more about each store’s history and how your consumer dollar at worker-owned coops makes a difference.
Other Avenues is an all-worker-owned, natural foods cooperative located at 3930 Judah Street between 44th and 45th Avenues. It is a favorite shopping hub for residents of the Outer Sunset community. In the west end of the city, Other Avenues is the only non-corporate, grocery market. It also functions as a community center where shoppers can attend workshops on nutrition, wellness and cooking sponsored by the coop.
Mandela Foods Cooperative is a worker-owned grocery store located conveniently across from the West Oakland BART station in Oakland. They offer sustainably grown produce, high quality food, and local goods seven days a week. Their motto is: Food- People-Power.
Thursday October 30th, 6:00-9:00pm
Worker Coop Fair: Did you know there are over 40 local worker coops? There are grocery stores, bakeries, pizzerias, bike shops, bookstores, graphic and web designers, bio-fuel stations, housecleaners, landscapers, gardeners, tech support and repair shops, cafes, martial art studios, courier services and more! Come feel the coop spirit! Information, products for sale & free samples from local worker-owned coops.View Post
Shopping at your local cooperatives is a great way to support fair labor practices, democratic workplaces and living wage jobs in your community. The Bay Area has a large variety of cooperatives to choose from and support. From the newer cooperatives such as Adobe Books and Arts Cooperative, to the cooperatives that have been around for a while such as the many Arizmendi bakeries. Have fun coop-shopping this October!
**Cannot be used with other discounts. Every 15% discount requires a new receipt. Monday through Friday only during October 2014. (Sorry, no digital, duplicate, photocopied or emailed receipts accepted.) Please do not ask our sister coops to give you more than one receipt per business transaction. See our flyers or here for a list of participating cooperatives.
A new Paleta Cooperative is forming in the Mission District with the support of Rainbow’s Cooperative Grant Program.
WAGES (Women’s Action to Gain Economic Security) is launching its 6th cooperative which will produce and sell sustainably sourced paletas (Mexican popsicles). For 15 years, WAGES has worked with low-income immigrant Latinas to launch green business cooperatives. Currently, WAGES supports five thriving cooperatives of more than 95 women, all of whom are worker-owners. The new worker-owners of the Paleta Cooperative will go through an extensive cooperative training with WAGES as well as the incubator program at La Cocina, a culinary small/business incubator in San Francisco. Rainbow Grocery’s Cooperative Grant Program awarded the Paleta Cooperative a grant for member recruitment and training as well as other significant startup costs. Rainbow is excited to be part of helping this new cooperative grow in the Mission District of San Francisco. You may also see us in the store giving tours and answering questions of members of the new Paleta Coop – if you do, stop, say hello and tell the women how excited you are to taste their delicious popsicles!
Our Cooperative Grant Program is one of the ways that we work be an active member of our local community and be a force for sustained, positive change. Every year we support hundreds of Bay Area schools and organizations through community donations and event sponsorship. By specifically supporting the development of other worker-owned cooperatives through our Cooperative Grant Program, we are helping to create more living wage, democratic jobs in the Bay Area and a workforce that will have the time, interest, and resources to put back into our local community. When you shop at Rainbow, you are contributing to this larger movement for a sustainable and just local economy – so, thank you! We look forward to seeing you in the aisles soon!View Post
Rainbow is excited to be supporting the development of a new Paleta Cooperative in San Francisco! Are you interested in being a worker-owner and making delicious, wholesome paletas? WAGES and the Mission Economic Development Agency are hosting an informational session on September 17th.
Rainbow está complacido de servir como apoyo para el desarrollo de una nueva cooperativa de paletas en San Francisco! ¿Está interesado en ser un trabajador-propietario y preparar deliciosas y saludables paletas? WAGES y Mission Economic Development Agency organizaran una sesión informativa el 17 septiembre.View Post