Loblaw Companies announces end to using bisphenol-laden thermal receipts
February 3, 2021
Another step toward bisphenol-free workplaces as Loblaw Companies announces it will stop using the chemical laden thermal receipts by year end
Recently, Loblaw Companies announced its commitment to phase out its use of thermal receipt paper that uses bisphenols – BPA and BPS – by the end of 2021. This commitment applies to all of its banners and subsidiaries.
For too long, Bisphenol A and Bisphenol B, or BPA and BPS, have been in wide use despite their detrimental health effects. Bisphenols act as hormone disruptors: They interfere with your body’s natural hormone balance and function. As a result, these chemicals can lead to further health issues.
In the fall of 2018, Locals 175 & 633 published an article in Checkout magazine discussing thermal receipt paper containing bisphenols. You can read that article here or it’s available as a PDF download.
Since that time, your Local Union and UFCW across Canada have been partnered with Environmental Defence, Breast Cancer Action Quebec and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families in the U.S. Together, we’ve been pushing major corporations to eliminate the use of bisphenols.
While the Union applauds the move by Loblaw Companies to stop using thermal receipts with BPA and BPS, there are many more companies out there still using it. It’s not just grocery receipts either. BPA and BPS can be found on restaurant receipts, gas receipts, travel and movie tickets, and much more.
Costco Canada made the commitment in 2019 to stop using BPA and BPS-laden receipts by the end of that year. With Loblaw Companies stepping up now too, we must keep up the pressure for all employers to take the safety and health of their workers and customers seriously.
BPA and BPS easily transfer to anything that comes into contact with the chemicals. That includes your skin, even if you just handle a receipt briefly. Cashiers and other workers who handle these items many times – sometimes hundreds of times – every day are exposed continuously to these harmful chemicals.
Take action to demand that more employers eliminate BPA and BPS from their receipts and other printed items. Not only will it help prevent chemical exposure to workers and consumers, but it will help keep these toxic chemicals out of our landfills, too.
Environmental Defence suggests the following strategies to help curb exposure to BPA and BPS from receipts.
- Say “no” to receipts. Ask your favourite retailers to switch to e-receipts or bisphenol-free receipts.
- Receipts should not be recycled as they contaminate the recycling stream. Throw your receipts in the trash.
- Contact your MP and MPPs and tell them the Canadian government must ban BPA and BPS in receipts.
- Fold the receipt with the printed side in as the back side is likely uncoated with bisphenols.
- Ask your employer to switch to non-bisphenol receipt paper.
- Avoid the use of hand sanitizers and wash your hands thoroughly whenever possible during your work shift, especially before eating.
Most importantly, if you have questions about BPA or BPS exposure in your workplace, please speak to your Joint Health & Safety Committee, workplace H&S Rep, or Union Steward, or reach out to your Union Representative.