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California Considers Ban On Paper Receipts

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The California Legislature is considering a bill which would ban stores and restaurants from giving their customers paper receipts, part of the state's ongoing effort to combat pollution and environmental waste.

Assembly Bill 161, introduced in January by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), would require receipts for purchases including food, groceries and "tangible personal property" be provided to customers only in an electronic form.

Under the bill, businesses would only be allowed to provide their customers with a paper receipt if they specifically request one.

If it made it through the legislature and was signed into law, the requirements would take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

The bill cites a January study from the environmental advocacy group Green America, which determined that three million trees and 9 billion gallons of water are used to create paper receipts in the United States every year. The receipts also generate 302 million pounds of waste, the report found.

The bill's language is in the same vein as the recent plastic straw regulations.

Last September, California legislators approved a law which bans full-service restaurants from automatically giving out single-use plastic straws unless customers request them. Earlier this month, the city of L.A. expanded that law to include all restaurants – including coffee shops, fast food restaurants, street carts and food trucks.

In 2014, California became the first state in the nation to ban plastic bags.

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