No BPA in Commonsense Receipts

18 July 2012

Commonsense has chosen to go BPA free with our receipts!

Our co-founder Marion Wood is concerned, not only for all retail workers in New Zealand, but also for kids playing 'shop' with Mum and Dad’s receipts.

The eftpos receipt in your pocket may be giving you an unpleasant dose of bisphenol A (BPA).

We note that the government is forcing manufacturers of party pills to show their products are safe. We’d like to see this precautionary principle applied to every day objects.



What is Bisphenol A (BPA)?

BPA is a chemical that appears to mimic estrogen; it may affect reproductive organs, and its effect may be more severe in young children. This has led to many manufacturers producing BPA-free products ranging from baby bottles to plastic containers.

"We’ve been selling BPA-free products for years," said Marion. "But I was really horrified to discover recently that we may be exposing our workers to between 250 – 1000 times more BPA than the average baby bottle contains. They handle so many receipts in any one day and one study in the US indicated that retail workers carry an average of 30% more BPA in their bodies than other adults."

Commonsense stores now use BPA-free receipts. BPA-free receipts are available in New Zealand and we'd love to encourage all businesses to change as quickly as they can.

You can read more about BPA in store receipts here.


Tips to reduce exposure to BPA in receipts

(From The Environmental Working Group)

  • Minimize receipt collection by declining receipts at ATMs and other machines when possible
  • Store receipts separately in an envelope in a wallet or purse
  • Never give a child a receipt to hold or play with
  • After handling a receipt, wash hands before preparing and eating food (a universally recommended practice even for those who have not handled receipts)
  • Do not use alcohol-based hand cleaners after handling receipts. A recent study showed that these products can increase the skin's BPA absorption (Biedermann 2010)
  • Take advantage of store services that email or archive paperless purchase records
  • Do not recycle receipts and other thermal paper. BPA residues from receipts will contaminate recycled paper
  • If you are unsure, check whether paper is thermally treated by rubbing it with a coin. Thermal paper discolors with the friction; conventional paper does not.


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