The state of California has already banned plastic bags and straws. Now, its legislature is considering a bill that would ban paper receipts, too.
California became the first state in 2016 to conduct a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. In July 2018, the city of Santa Barbra cracked down as it voted to ban any sort of plastic straws from businesses, charging any violators up to a $1,000 fine or jail time. The state has since passed a bill banning full-service restaurants from distributing the straws unless a customer asks for one.
The state of California could become the first state to curb receipt waste, pushing for businesses to offer customers an electronic version instead.
San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting introduced the legislation, Assembly Bill 161, which would require businesses to provide electronic receipts unless the customer asks for a printed version.
“There’s a negative impact on the environment with these receipts and the inability to recycle them,” Ting said as he delivered the proposal on Tuesday, CNBC reported. He added that there is a “harmful” chemical, known as Bisphenol A (BPA), in paper receipts that could cause health issues.
The way the Democratic assemblyman proposed the paper receipt ban was humorous in its own way.
Watch the video below:
WATCH: A San Francisco assembly member put a life-size receipt on display Tuesday in order to introduce a new legislation that would require retailers to offer digital receipts as the default to customers beginning January 1, 2022. https://t.co/dw4hddKPRu pic.twitter.com/wLZfhz1rNK
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) January 9, 2019
The “Skip the Slip” legislation is being pushed by the nonprofit Green America, which claims: “In the U.S., 10 million trees and 21 billion gallons of water are consumed each year in the creation of paper receipts, generating 686 million pounds of waste and 12 billion pounds of CO2.”
The idea of electronic receipts raises “huge privacy concerns,” San Diego State University’s chair of the marketing department Heather Honea told CNBC. “Privacy legislation in this country, and even in California, is pretty minimal relative to the amount of data that is consistently collected on consumers.”
According to Honea, as soon as a transaction is made, businesses can “identify who you are and they are sending information.”
“Certainly, this is just one more opportunity for more of that information,” she added.
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) January 8, 2019
The legislation was only recently introduced this week. However, if passed, it would fine businesses up to $300 per year for not providing electronic receipts.
If passed, the requirement for electronic receipts would begin January 1, 2022.