What's it all about? You receive them in the supermarket, when shopping and in Germany, since 1 January 2020, due to the so-called receipt obligation, also at every bakery: receipts. The small, shimmering sheets are often mistaken for paper, but they are coated with chemicals and therefore cannot be recycled in paper waste.
What is the problem? Thermal paper, which is used for cash register receipts, is often coated with bisphenol A (BPA). This not only makes it impossible to recycle the receipts but can also affect our health if they come into regular contact with our skin. BPA disrupts hormones and is suspected of being carcinogenic (Andrady 2015). Although BPA-coated receipts have been banned in the EU since the beginning of 2020, many retailers still have remaining stocks and continue to use BPA-coated receipts. In addition, it has become apparent that many manufacturers have switched to the substitute substance bisphenol S (BPS), which is also suspected of having hormonal effects (Goldinger 2015).
What can I do? When shopping, avoid getting a receipt if possible. Make the shop owner aware that there are environmentally friendly receipts available, such as our recyclable receipt. This is not coated with harmful BPA (or BPS) and can be fully recycled and disposed of in the paper waste.