CVS Receipts: Toxic for Humans And The Planet

by Juliette Baumann

Green America is one of the nations largest non-profit organizations focusing on harnessing economic power through the strength of consumers, investors, businesses and the marketplace to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. One of their most recent efforts is to help cut CVS’ ongoing practice of the longest receipts. 

In August of 2018 Green America began its “Skip the Slip, CVS” campaign which launched large efforts to improve CVS’ receipt practices. Not only is CVS known for having the longest receipts of all retailers of its kind – these receipts contain a toxin known as Bisphenol-S known as BPS while contributing to deforestation and pollution. 

Once CVS caught win of the customer’s dissatisfaction with the lengthy receipts along with being discussed on Jimmy Kimmel the company immediately introduced electronic receipts but failed to relay the option to its customers – meaning a small majority of customers chose digital. 

Averaging over a foot long – 93 percent of the paper receipts are coated with BPS along with Bisphenol- A (BPA) – both of which are highly toxic. To put things into perspective, the total mass of BPA on a receipt is 250 to 1,000 times greater than the amount of BPA found in a baby bottle or a can of food. This exposure put employees at great risks.

“CVS has a well-known reputation for its lengthy paper receipts,” said Beth Porter, Green America’s Climate & Recycling director. “But what is less often discussed are that the millions of receipts it issues each year waste natural resources and pose health risks. CVS could be an industry leader on this issue if it switches to non-toxic receipts and fixes its restricted access to digital receipts. Currently, CVS is coming up short.”

“We’re mobilizing thousands of customers that visit CVS’ 9,800 stores to urge the company to improve practices to protect worker health and follow through on its digital receipt program,” said Todd Larsen, executive co-director of Consumer and Corporate Engagement at Green America. “As a company that is in the business of providing customers with products to protect and enhance their health, CVS has an obligation to move off of toxic paper receipts and make it easy for customers to get digital receipts.”

If you feel CVS needs to completely remove their print option you can sign the petition here: 

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