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Proposed "Skip the Slip" Legislation Requires Electronic Receipts By 2022

At a press conference on Tuesday, Assemblymember Phil Ting announced AB 161, also known as the “Skip the Slip” bill. As introduced, the measure would require businesses to issue receipts in electronic form by 2022, unless a customer specifically requests a hard copy of their proof of purchase be provided. If approved, businesses in violation would receive two warnings before being fined $25 for each day they are out of compliance, with a $300 cap annually. The penalties in Ting's bill are modeled on a similar bill seeking to reduce the use of plastic straws.

The push towards e-receipts is part of a nationwide campaign led by environmental organization Green America to cut paper waste and possible health risks associated with receipt paper coated with chemicals known as Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Bisphenol-S (BPS). In speaking about the need for his legislation, Assemblymember Ting cited a report recently published by Green America which claims paper receipts in the U.S. generate 686 million pounds of waste and emits 12 billion pounds of CO2 annually. Further, the report states that each year receipt production processes use up to 10 million trees and 21 billion gallons of water. The California Retailers Association has noted that many larger stores already offer the choice of paper or electronic receipts, but it is unclear if a mandate would cause a hardship for small and medium-size stores. Committee hearings on the bill will occur this spring, stay tuned…