Retail giants face pressure to change chemical-coated receipt paper


TORONTO — Some of Canada’s biggest retailers say they’ve started testing alternatives to receipt paper that’s coated in potentially dangerous chemicals, as pressure mounts for them to phase it out by the end of this year.

A conglomerate of health, labour and environmental groups has sent a letter to 13 retailers, including major grocers and fast-food chains, asking them to take immediate steps toward eliminating their use of bisphenol-coated receipts and other paper products in the country.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical that is used in making polycarbonate, a type of plastic, and epoxy resins.

The Canadian government assessed BPA’s possible health and environmental risks in a chemical risk assessment, and has made it illegal to manufacture, import, advertise or sell baby bottles with the chemical.

The groups say some retailers removed BPA-coated receipt paper after that, but replaced it with other bisphenol substances, like BPS, and that these coatings pose a risk to retail workers and consumers.

A Loblaw Companies Ltd. spokesperson says the grocer eliminated BPA receipts in 2012 and plans to stop using any bisphenol-coated receipts in the future.

A Retail Council of Canada spokesperson says many retailers switched to BPA-free receipts and others intend to transition out of bisphenol-coated ones.


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