California Bill Would Replace Paper Receipts With Digital, Many Would Be Sent By Email

A bill now on tap in the California state assembly would require retailers to offer digital receipts at the checkout counter unless asked for a paper copy.

AB-161, recently introduced by Rep. Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), would make California the first state to take that step, sources say. The legislation would take effect in January 2022.

The objective is to protect consumers, workers and the environment from toxins that often coat paper-based receipts.

The bill would allow retailers to provide paper receipts on request, but not as the default option.

Transactional email would be one of the ways to send such receipts and could be a boon to email service providers while saving money for retailers.   

“Many businesses currently offer digital receipts, and they commonly do so through email,” says a spokesperson for the environmental group Green America.

Ting is asking consumers to support a petition for the bill in as part of the “Skip the Slip campaign.”



“Retailers who have adopted digital receipts are already seeing benefits in terms of reduced costs and greater connection to their customers,” states Green America’s executive co-director Todd Larsen.  “Assembly member Ting’s bill will benefit retailers, workers, and consumers in California, and it will be an important step forward in addressing the increasing impacts of paper-based receipts.”

Green America says in a report that paper receipts:

  • Use 10 million trees 
  • Consume 21 billion gallons of water 
  • Generate 686 million pounds of waste and 12 billion pounds of CO2

In addition, the group estimates that 93% of paper receipts are coated with toxins linked to cancer, diabetes and reproductive issues. People are exposed to endocrine-disruptors when they touch the receipts, it says.


2 comments about "California Bill Would Replace Paper Receipts With Digital, Many Would Be Sent By Email".
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  1. Laurie Sullivan from lauriesullivan, January 8, 2019 at 3:47 p.m.

    The objective for marketers is to have an email address or mobile phone number for each consumer who buys a product at a retail store. It will enable brands to connect online and in-store purchases more easily, even when the consumer pays cash. Imagine that. Companies finally found a way to eliminate the word "anonymous" when it comes to a purchase. 

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, January 8, 2019 at 5:44 p.m.

    Nope. They don't get my email address for their spying and records. Paper only.

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