Canadian Retailers Face Pressure to Provide an Alternative to Paper Receipts

Canada paper receipts

Canadian retailers face mounting pressure from health, labor, and environmental groups to phase out paper receipts that include bisphenols, most notably, bisphenol-A (BPA) and bisphenol-S (BPS). Several groups of health, labor, and environmental advocates have recently petitioned some of Canada’s top retailers, including Costco Canada and Walmart Canada, to stop using the receipt paper that contains bisphenols in the interest of consumer’s long-term health and the environment.

Why Pressure is Mounting

Bisphenols, such as BPA and BPS have been linked to various health complications in humans including infertility, cancer, diabetes, and more. However, the effects of bisphenols extend well beyond people to animals and the environment. In fact, it takes approximately 15 trees to produce a single ton of paper. Beyond the overall impact on trees, a problem with chemical-ridden receipts is that the paper itself is not recyclable. A combination of the environmental impact and the chemical effects of paper receipts on the health of humans, animals, and the environment is what is motivating a coalition of advocacy groups in Canada to now take action.

In response to this pressure, some Canadian retailers are testing alternatives to paper receipts that contain harmful bisphenols. The challenge to retailers becomes identifying a practical and cost-effective solution that excludes all cancer-causing chemicals.

The Future of Paper Receipts

As retailers seek out alternatives to their paper receipts, many have chosen to adopt a more progressive option. While environmental resources grow slimmer, consumers today are more conscious of their use of paper. This and the fact that today’s shoppers are much more digitally-savvy has led retailers to explore mobile-friendly, digital receipts. In fact, retailers in Canada including ALDO, Under Armour, and Michael Kors have all implemented eReceipts in their stores as an alternative to paper receipts. The bigger win for retailers, however, is that the move to eReceipts has not only helped them cut costs and become more environmentally conscious, it has also provided an effective channel for retailers to engage with more of their customers immediately after the sale. This has resulted in more loyalty signups, shopper feedback and new purchases (based on product recommendations within the receipts). A win-win situation.

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