SGIA Supports Effort Stopping California Paper Receipt Ban

SGIA joined in with other trade groups representing printing, paper, and retail operations strongly opposing a bill being considered by the California legislature that essentially would ban paper receipts. The bill, AB 161, requiring businesses to print paper receipts only at the customer's request has been rejected by the California State Senate after stalling in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The bill would have required businesses by 2022 to provide customers electronic receipts unless a paper printout was requested. Businesses would be required to ask customers before printing a receipt, and then required that those not include coupons or advertisements unless also requested. Businesses that do not have a system where they could offer electronic receipts would have required to purchase and install this technology.

As the bill made its way through the legislature, it was significantly revised following strong opposition from the paper industry and trade groups, including SGIA. The core premise of the bill was widely criticized as it purported to save paper and ban certain chemicals used in thermal receipt paper. These claims were challenged by the industry groups opposing the bill. One of the primary concerns was the required data collection and subsequent protection of it. California has strict regulations on data privacy and that lead to the bill ultimately being dropped.