MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Many shoppers use receipts to keep track of their spending, but the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency wants to see more Minnesota businesses go paperless.
It’s not just because of the environmental aspect, there’s also a potential health risk associated with a certain type of receipt paper.READ MORE: Baxter Police Seek Help Finding Missing Person Jessie Eue
If there’s one forgettable part of any shopping experience, it’s probably the receipt.
“What do you do, you go home and put it in the recycling,” shopper Kim Boysvert, of Edina, said.
However, at the Linden Hills Co-op, the staff is putting a little more thought into that paper record of purchase.
“In general, we ask the customer if they want the receipt. If they don’t, we save the paper and don’t print them,” Chris True, a manager at the Linden Hills Co-op, said.
The co-op is one of 24 businesses working with the MPCA to reduce the use of thermal paper which most receipts are printed on.
The MPCA was awarded a federal grant to tackle the issue. The concern is over bisphenol A or BPA, which is used to make thermal paper. Often found in plastics, BPA can affect the reproductive system.READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: 2,424 Cases, 3 Deaths Reported Friday
“I know it’s not good for your system in general. I try to steer clear of it. Awhile back, I came here and bought all glass containers,” Boysvert said.
Recent research shows the chemical can also be absorbed into your skin when handling a receipt.
Linden Hills Co-op started offering an email version and spent time writing a BPA strategic plan to reduce the exposure to customers and employees. One change, employees are asked not to crumple any receipts that are printed to limit contact to the skin.
“Just for health purposes, they don’t get the toxin on their fingers which could go to their mouth hands or whatever,” True said.
“I did not know about that, so, I learned something today,” Boysvert said.
As more customers learn of the potential health risk, the paper receipt could become a thing of the past.MORE NEWS: Man Fatally Shot On Downtown St. Paul LRT Platform; 2 Others Killed In Separate Shootings
Businesses started using thermal paper years ago to save money because then they didn’t have to buy ink. While some businesses are choosing to email receipts, others are turning to BPA-free paper.