Monday, February 14, 2011

No BPA on My Receipts Please

Ok this post is a little off-topic for me. I've been learning alot in the last few weeks about BPA on cash register receipts and used in the lining of canned food. I'm not a scientist and I don't completely understand everything, and I know a research here or there isn't the definitive answer on anything... But I'm leaning towards I don't want this in my water or food or on my skin. Especially if there are alternatives. Like for receipt paper.

So I contacted Vons and Trader Joe's last week to ask them to switch to BPA-free register paper. Just those two, they're where I shop most and my mom too. I'm very surprised in the responses I got, Vons was way more positive than I expected but TJ's was.. well they gave a complete non-answer and I find that very frustration and disrespectful >:(

Here's Vons response:

Dear Ms. *:

Thank you for contacting us regarding your concern about BPA on register receipts.

Thank you for expressing your concerns. We are reviewing the study and are gathering additional information. We are also in contact with our receipt paper supplier regarding this issue.  However, please note that the study does not draw a definite conclusion as to whether BPA on register receipts poses a health risk to consumers. Once we have done our due diligence, we will determine the best course of action. Please be assured that your comments are important to us, and will be forwarded to our Public Affairs department for consideration

If you would like to discuss this further, please reply to this email or call our toll free number at 1-888-723-3929 and reference contact I.D. ********.  One of our associates will be happy to assist you.

We appreciate your business and look forward to seeing you soon.  Thank you for shopping at Vons.


Vons Customer Service Team

Well, Vons at least says they're looking into it and already in contact with their supplier. This is more than I expected from a corporate giant. Hopefully it's true. Next time I stop by there I may lookup the manager and mention this, tell him I'm happy corporate is looking into it and that I'd really like it if he tried to make the switch next time they're ordering supplies at my store.

And here's TJ's response:


BPA (Bisphenol A) is an epoxy used in manufacturing the plastic (resin
enamel) lining of canned goods. This resin lining in cans prevents

This is an industry-wide issue for manufacturers of food-grade cans and
canned foods. Work is being done within the industry to develop
alternative, BPA-free linings for canned products. The canned food
industry has relied on this method for many years and is scrambling to
come up with solutions that do not trade one perceived problem for a
degradation in food safety.

To be clear, our receipt paper does contain BPA and we do have some
canned items that have linings containing BPA. In this way we are in the
same position as all other retail grocers. Also please know that NONE of
our TJ'S products in plastic will contain BPA.

All of our products and packaging are within food safety guidelines and

The debate between governmental agencies, manufacturers, and the
scientific community is ongoing-options for non-BPA materials are being
tested and there are new formats entering the marketplace.

We are handling this issue in the same manner as previous matters of
concern: we're listening to the feedback our customers are providing and
exploring options to put that feedback into place in a meaningful way.


Trader Joe's
Customer Relation

Big difference here. I'm surprised they brought up the can lining, I didn't mention it in my message to them or to Vons because I know there isn't a practical alternative for the grocery industry at the moment (unlike the receipt paper). It is is nice to know that they're aware of that also. But they're just barely glossing over what I asked them about - the BPA receipt paper - without mention of what they're going to do about. Hmmm "there are new formats entering the marketplace" , but there's already BPA-free paper available.

I'm actually somewhat put off by TJ's right now. Right now I really feel like stopping at TJ's and having a little fit... but I know it's not my local TJ's manager's fault directly. On a day I'm so frazzled by other things I may take a printout of that response and take it to my TJ's and have a nice chat w/the manager.

That is all, Happy V-day everybody.


  1. Good for you. Keep us updated on the progress and communications.

  2. I believe we have more power as consumers than through our legislative process, while this is a sad commentary on our political system it does mean there is still hope. To create real change we need to vote with our dollars and contact companies like you did to let them know what we the customers want. Customers have power, believe me I worked in retail for years. Perhaps I'll send them a letter to....I wonder what Whole Foods would say? I am doing a post on keeping BPA out of our gardens and linked to this post as an example that BPA is in more than just plastic. Thanks for the info and keep up the fight!

  3. I'm gonna have to check out that post 'cause I don't want it in my garden either! Thanks for letting me know!
    Sadly, I don't think WH would care at all. I am completely disenchanted with that company, as a corporation they seem to be as greedy and two-faced as Walmart and McD's.


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