Safer receipts

This article was originally published in October 2014

You’ll soon notice new receipts at PCC that look a little different — and they are!

The new receipt paper — called Alpha® Free — was developed by Wisconsin-based Appvion, Inc. It is the only phenol-free choice using vitamin C instead as an image developer. It contains no dyes, no bisphenol-A (BPA) or bisphenol-S (BPS), which are common in other receipt papers.

It’s a much safer choice for people, and for contact with food and our environment.

Why is PCC making a change?

Thermal paper coatings using phenols, such as BPA, have come under scrutiny due to potential adverse health effects. Research indicates BPA can be absorbed through contact and is a hormone disruptor. PCC switched to a BPA-free receipt tape in 2010 but now research suggests another phenol in receipt tapes, bisphenol-S (BPS), has similar properties.

Customer and employee safety are very important to our organization. PCC aggressively seeks out products that are formulated with the safest and most sustainable ingredients. This receipt paper uses vitamin C thermal developers approved by the Food and Drug Administration for oral and topical use by animals and humans.

Why are these receipts not two-sided?

This receipt paper is not available in double-sided form due to current patent restrictions. We believe the downside of longer, single-sided receipts is outweighed by the benefits of removing a product containing risky chemical compounds.

Why is the receipt yellow and the print lighter?

The vitamin C-based image developer is naturally yellow in color, giving the paper a yellow hue. The print is lighter because no inks are used. Instead, heat is applied to the coating on the paper (the vitamin C image developer) to produce the images.

The vitamin C-based coating is less reactive to heat than phenol-based options and produces a lighter image. These receipts, however, can be scanned and will keep for five years when stored under normal conditions.

Also in this issue

Letter for strong organic standards

PCC and other businesses oppose recent changes to the National Organic Program that make it easier to keep using synthetic ingredients in organic foods.

Climate change and northwest agriculture

Climate change seems certain to take a toll on Washington's $40 billion annual agriculture industry, but the Northwest may be able to adapt better than other regions.

Added sugars: Learn to subtract from your diet

A shocking 75 percent of packaged foods have some form of sugar added to the list of ingredients. Everything from applesauce to zucchini muffins is a potential source.