There’s no shortage of chemicals in the products we all use, and many are absorbed through eating, breathing – and through our skin. Some of these are linked to illness, and one in particular – bisphenol A (BPA) – has received plenty of headlines.
This hormone disruptor has been a common compound in hard, clear plastics, and has since been banned in Canada for use in baby bottles. It has also been dropped by many manufacturers where it may leach into the contents of a bottle or can. And while we now often check our food and beverage containers for the “BPA-free” symbol, we may not be aware of its use in less obvious places. Like cash register receipts. The inkless variety are coated with BPA on one side, where thermal transfer generates printed numbers and text. Handling these receipts will cause it to come off on your hands (where it can be absorbed), and potentially spread to your food.
It’s an issue for customers, who often request a receipt, and an even bigger deal for cashiers who may handle hundreds during a shift. Wet skin, from holding damp items like produce, appears to amplify the problem.
Vince’s Market has responded by switching their cash register rolls to those that are both BPA and bisphenol S (BPS) free. Research has shown that the latter, a common BPA replacement, may be just as harmful.
“We’ve sent out the new product for testing, and found our new thermal paper to be free of these chemicals,” said Giancarlo Trimarchi, partner at Vince’s Market. “It’s reassuring to know that our customers and employees won’t be absorbing BPA and BPS from the receipts we are printing.”
This latest change is part of the independent grocer’s “Green Team” initiative, which has also been reducing waste, increasing recycling, and cutting back on single-use plastics. Vince’s Market previously introduced bio-based produce and shopping bags, and has been expanding the sustainable packaging program, which includes more compostable take-away containers.
“We are doing this prior to any legislation that may or may not take effect, because it is the right thing to do,” said Trimarchi. “We care about the health of our customers, staff – and the environment – and will continue making a positive difference in the communities we serve.”