Environmental groups applaud Loblaw’s commitment to phase out receipts with phenol News Staff

TORONTO — Loblaw Companies Ltd. is winning praise from a coalition of environmental, health and labour groups for its commitment to stop using receipt paper that contains a potentially dangerous chemical.

The grocery and drugstore chain says it will transition to phenol-free receipt paper across all its divisions by the end of 2021.

The move is being applauded by groups that say it will protect workers and customers from harmful chemicals, and is renewing pressure on other retailers to phase out the chemical. 

Muhannad Malas, toxics program manager at Environmental Defence, says cashiers are exposed to high levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals while handling receipts and deserve to be protected.

Jennifer Beeman, executive director of Breast Cancer Action Quebec, says bisphenols used in thermal paper are known endocrine disruptors and can be a significant source of exposure for women.

The Canadian government declared Bisphenol A (BPA) a toxic chemical in October 2010. Some retailers removed BPA-coated receipt paper, but replaced it with paper that contains similar phenol substances, according to the groups.

Loblaw said in its Corporate Social Responsibility report last year that it would transition to phenol-free receipt paper by the end of 2021. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021.

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The Canadian Press

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