Dumbra: Paper receipts not recyclable

Can recycled paper really be “contaminated”?

In response to a reader asking whether paper receipts are recyclable, Grist’s Umbra says,

… As always, I recommend checking with your local waste agency, but I can tell you that receipts are usually coated with BPA, and evidence including this recent study suggests that BPA can contaminate other recycled-paper products. So avoid accepting receipts when you have the choice, and when they pile up, I give you permission to throw them out. Sometimes it just feels good.

But there’s not much BPA on receipts — much less in recycled paper. And when BPA is absorbed through the skin, it is rapidly metabolized into estrogenically inactive water soluble metabolites that are excreted.

2 thoughts on “Dumbra: Paper receipts not recyclable”

  1. The anti-scientists are hardly going to let the facts get in the way of a good scare, and this is a pretty good one.
    BPA is nearly ubiquitous. It is easily detected at insignificant levels by modern chemical analyses. (The actual concentrations are not important, as long as the media can report that it can be detected.) It is, to the best of our knowledge, a purely synthetic chemical, so controlling it means controlling people/activities where there is a need to use it.
    Best of all, unlike ‘climate change,’ it is something that can be conceivably be eradicated from out lives, giving the ‘control freaks’ an opportuinity for a *achievable* objective. The more successes they can count, the easier it will be to convince the once-free population to cede more control of other things.

  2. Do it like we did in the 1950’s. Get a barrel, cut the bottom out, put in a grate, set it up about 3-5 inches off the ground and burn your waste.

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