SACRAMENTO — Those body-length receipts from retail stores are here to stay.
A bill before the California Legislature would have banned paper receipts unless requested by a customer. But a legislative committee voted Friday not to send the legislation to the Senate floor for a vote.
The move means the bill is unlikely to pass this year.
California has been a trailblazer for environmental regulations, becoming the first state to adopt a cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions from the state’s biggest polluters. The state bans plastic straws at full-service restaurants unless requested by customers. This year, lawmakers have advanced a bill that would ban hotels from providing small plastic bottles for shampoo and other toiletries.
But banning those thin, crinkly, coupon-filled receipts appears to be a step too far, even for California.
The Receipts Are Bad for the Environment
Democratic Sen. Anthony Portantino, chairman of the legislative committee that blocked the bill on Friday, said the bill did not pass because it had problems. Portantino said some retailers use the receipts for quality control, and he noted people like to get the coupons that sometimes come with their purchase.
The proposal got a lot of attention, starting in January when an aide dressed as a giant receipt stood beside Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting as he announced the bill at a news conference to emphasize the often absurd lengths of modern receipts.
Ting said the receipts are bad for the environment, noting the paper is so thin it can’t be made from recycled materials. He said he was disappointed it did not make it out of committee, noting he might bring it back next year.
“It empowered consumers to ask for a receipt. It empowered consumers to ask for a coupon,” he said. “This is about giving the power back to consumers to really ensure there was less waste in California.”