BPA-free receipt switch could save money
By Lee van der Voo, Sustainable Business Oregon
Sustainable Business Oregon
Since receiving considerable attention following the Environmental Working Group’s report, Appleton Papers has begun embedding red fibers in its BPA-free receipt paper to make it easily recognizable by consumers.
Recent outcry over the use of endocrine-disrupting Bisphenol A — more commonly known as BPA — in a majority of receipt paper has merchants moving to alternatives. And in the case of the Multnomah County Library, the switch to BPA-free receipt paper also means saving money.
Jeremy Graybill, marketing and communications director for the library, estimates it will save between $1,400 and $3,200 through its switch to BPA-free paper this fiscal year.
Graybill said it is tough to pinpoint the exact savings that will result from the change, since the library has yet to move through a whole year of inventory. But the library uses about 8,300 rolls of receipt paper annually, mostly as hold slips to direct patrons to books they've ordered. In its previous fiscal year, the library spent $10,000 on receipt paper. At the low end, the projected savings from the switch looks to be at least 14 percent.
Though costs were a motivating factor for library officials, Graybill said the switch was primarily made for health reasons.
"It certainly aligns with the library's priorities to go that route," he said.
The health effects of receipt papers are an increasing concern. Evidence suggests BPA disrupts the hormone system, and causes cell and chromosomal damage linked to certain cancers, diabetes, miscarriage and birth defects. It has been shown to leach into food and water from containers and has garnered much attention for its use in water bottles, canned food and baby toys. The Oregon Environmental Council has sought to ban BPA in children’s food and beverage containers in the state, and plans to try again in 2011 session of the Oregon Legislature. The council also participated in a nationwide study on BPA in canned foods earlier this year.
Lee van der Voo, lvdvoo*at*gmail.com, is a freelance writer for Sustainable Business Oregon.
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