California May Be First to Discourage Use of Paper Receipts

SACRAMENTO — California would become the first state to require businesses to offer electronic receipts unless customers ask for paper copies under newly proposed legislation.

Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco said Tuesday that many businesses and consumers already are moving toward e-receipts.

He says a law still is needed because many consumers don’t realize most paper receipts are coated with chemicals prohibited in baby bottles. He says customers often don’t know that receipts can’t be recycled and can contaminate other recycled paper because of the chemicals.

His bill, AB161, would take effect in 2022. It comes days after a new California law required dine-in restaurants to provide drinking straws only at customers’ request.

The California Retailers Association says it’s unclear whether a mandate would harm small and medium-size stores.