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:
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.