Bill Proposes Phasing Out Paper Receipts For Purchases In California

January 9, 2019 8:00 am · 60 comments

A California state assemblyman on Tuesday introduced legislation that would seek to phase out paper receipts and make electronic receipts the default practice when making a purchase.

Assembly Bill 161, proposed by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, would make businesses in the state have to provide e-receipts to customers by 2022 unless they specifically request a hard copy.

“Most of us don’t need a physical receipt for every transaction. It doesn’t make sense to kill so many trees … to make something we don’t often need,” Ting said in a news release.

He cited a report last year by the nonprofit Green America that found that up to 10 million trees and 21 billion gallons of water are used in the U.S. every year just to create receipts.

The proposal, if approved, would make California the first state in the country to mandate a move toward e-receipts, according to Ting’s office.

martinezdad January 9, 2019 at 8:04 AM

e-toilet paper can’t be far behind. Pretty soon there will be a law stating that you have to bring your own toilet paper with you to public bathrooms.

America January 9, 2019 at 9:01 AM

Ha ha!!! Yes, and no more kleenex tissues. Love carrying around a cloth handkerchief to blow my nose and tuck back into my pocket or purse.

Mongoose January 9, 2019 at 8:08 AM

This person obviously has no life.

Just saying January 9, 2019 at 8:10 AM


Is it because California has nothing else to worry about? Um paper is recyclable.

But but January 9, 2019 at 9:27 AM

But the ink used is toxic, so receipts are not recyclable.

But but January 9, 2019 at 7:48 PM

Hmmmm and it isn’t that Conservatives don’t wait to find out facts, they just assume stuff and act like blowhards? Why would you assume political affiliation from my post? Wow.

OK my bad – not the ink. It’s the thermal paper that isn’t recyclable. Someone on the news was talking about the ink. Thanks for making me look it up. We’re both wrong, and we’re both right. Better now?

Anon January 9, 2019 at 8:12 AM

What is next do away with toilet paper and move to e-wiping? The only reason this came up is due to the CVS 2 foot long receipts so just focus on them and go back to a normal receipt.

Mark D Carpenter January 9, 2019 at 8:24 AM

Do these new (and old) politicians believe they are failing at their job if they can’t think up and pass new legislation? Is that why they are called lawmakers? What we need now is a more complicated society. All these costs are passed along to the consumers. Brilliant.

Fred January 9, 2019 at 8:30 AM

That means we would have to give every store our email or phone number. Or give them my old spam address.

Scott Fine January 9, 2019 at 9:34 AM

Exactly Fred!!!! Also, I do have to ask if California actually has any trees left after all the fires?

Ricardoh January 9, 2019 at 8:35 AM

They really go after the big ones don’t they? Lets not keep poop off of the street. We don’t really need to correct the bottle necks on the freeways. We just need to put up more traffic jamming toll roads and prevent paper receipts.

Doh January 9, 2019 at 8:36 AM

Ask me first. I’ll say yes or no. Receipts are needed to return items and for tax purposes. I do not want an e-receipt.

J January 9, 2019 at 8:38 AM

What’s next? Wet naps? Toilet paper? Napkins? Wrapping paper? Where does it end? … or are we doomed to live in a society controlled by the few?

Fred January 9, 2019 at 8:59 AM

Wet naps are a big problem when people throw them down the toilet. Search for “fatberg” if you want to know.

J January 10, 2019 at 8:46 AM

sorry Fred you missed the point…. not always the content of a comment as the intent

S January 9, 2019 at 8:39 AM

just another way for stores to needlessly get your email or phone number…. Always Ask For a paper Receipt…..

PO'd January 9, 2019 at 8:52 AM

This is the kind of legislation that the new Governor likes-he’ll sign this and
just about any similar legislation into law. I suppose we’ll have to get used to it, as Republicans are basically extinct in California.

Willis January 9, 2019 at 8:55 AM

In the future, I see “smart” bidets with water usage meters a a lot of spam and malware in my inbox. California creates a lot of ideas for grade B Netflix movies.

What's next? January 9, 2019 at 9:03 AM

The retailers will save money by not having to provide a receipt and customers won’t see any benefit, other than having to give their email addresses to everybody and getting more spam email. This is a crock. I agree with ANON – focus on CVS and leave everybody else alone. CVS sucks anyway. I miss Longs!

Kentucky Derby January 9, 2019 at 9:06 AM

I want a paper receipt for every purchase. I check receipts to make sure I was charged correctly, and if I ever need to return something – I want a paper copy. This is ridiculous.

DJ January 9, 2019 at 1:52 PM

I agree with you. Many times I wasn’t charged correctly. But you can look at your receipt before you get home and get it taken care of. Not everyone has email or those capabilities. As I get older I use email less and less. It takes a lot longer at the register too putting in an email address. RediCLUELESS!

Jess January 9, 2019 at 9:06 AM

I’m personally for this. Imagine how nice it would be to have searchable electronic copies of all your receipts. Think of Christmas especially – rather than trying to find a specific paper receipt, if I could just bring out my phone and find it in email. Or better yet, just give the store my info and a date and they with have the record.

Kirkwood January 9, 2019 at 11:34 AM

What if somebody somewhere pulls the plug and your records evaporate?

Jess January 9, 2019 at 2:48 PM

I assume you’d also have your own electronic copy already in email, or the like But I meant it would be awesome if the company did too so I wouldn’t even have to find it myself. I know some companies already do this.

Mitch January 9, 2019 at 9:15 AM

Which software developer proposed this one?

Iluvpopcorn January 9, 2019 at 9:18 AM

Ridicules idea1

Really? January 9, 2019 at 9:21 AM

Relax people, many purchases don’t require a receipt anyways. I find myself telling the clerk I don’t need one just to watch them throw it away because it prints out by default. And at CVS or Kmart their receipts are a foot and half long, what a waste! And if you do need a receipt, guess what, just ask for one! Whew, that was hard wasn’t it!

Dawg January 9, 2019 at 9:21 AM

And they wonder why the middle class is moving out of Caliornia.

Dr. Jellyfinger January 9, 2019 at 9:23 AM

This is what California State Assemblymen do?

This would be the perfect job for me…. I’ve long contended that banning shoelaces and requiring Velcro on shoes & boots would cut down on tripping over shoelace injuries, that would be my first order of business.

Nextly, I’d do something about those flimsy, impossible to open bags the supermarkets have in the produce & meat departments.
(it’s enough to drive you nuts).

Thirdly, I’d require all toilets to be metered.
Anything over 50 flushes per person per month would trigger an automatic, required trip to the butt Doctor to make sure you don’t have any icky health issues.
It would also have the added benefit of saving water so you don’t waste flushes on spiders n’ stuff.

Remember next election… DJ for State Assembly !

giddyup January 9, 2019 at 1:47 PM

One has to flush spiders. They might crawl back up and bite you the next time you sat down.

Reality says... January 9, 2019 at 9:24 AM

I’m not a tree hugger – but they should add phone books to this list. Arrived home from the gym last night to find phone books on peoples driveway. I’m guessing most of these go straight in the recycle bin. I think the last time I used a paper phone book was in 1990!

You can go here to opt out:

Original G January 9, 2019 at 9:24 AM

No way I’m handing out my email address to every place I shop.
Get too many junk emails now. Clowns in state legislature have way too much time, should be like Texas. Their legislature meets every other year and then for only 140 calendar days. Enough time to get important stuff done.

WC Resident January 9, 2019 at 9:29 AM

Hell no to Assembly Bill 161. Many businesses are not set up to handle this meaning an additional expense to switch out from technology that works perfectly well for them. Several businesses I deal with are so old school that they hand-write receipts and do not use a computer or cash register.

Plus, it’s a huge attempt at grabbing identities and then tracking everything we do. Isn’t ID theft already a too regular news item? Don’t be an enabler.

Fran January 9, 2019 at 9:29 AM

Another boneheaded idea by one of the many boneheads in Sacramento.
Phil obviously thinks everyone has internet access. My 94 year old Mother and many of her peers don’t have the internet and don’t want it, so without a paper receipt they will have no record of any cash purchase which is ridiculous…

Giddyup January 9, 2019 at 8:04 PM

You’re so right. I know people who won’t spend five minutes in the same room with a computer. And, really, how many gazillion accounts, passwords, security questions, and hacked data does one have to experience in one’s lifetime. They are all literally pages falling out of my address book anymore, have lost all organization, got changed since the last entry, are a freaking nightmare. I’m asking myself if it really is worth all the trouble. I don’t see it growing in popularity over the years, I see it diminishing because its all so annoying, really.

Caljoi January 9, 2019 at 9:30 AM

I am torn on this issue. When I started giving my email address to receive my receipts, I was inundated with emails then from that store, company, etc. If they could just send me the email receipt w/o using it as a way to solicit and advertise then I’d be all for it. Plus the receipts we receive today contain Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical that many say is harmful to the environment.-they are not like our old paper receipts. A lot of times when ask if I want a receipt I say “No thank you” as I just don’t need one and that reduces waste too. so Assemblyman Ting, add a addendum that the establishment cannot use our email as a way to fill our inboxes with emails and I’d be 100% for it. Well maybe 90% for it.

Rob January 9, 2019 at 9:31 AM

Sounds good to me. I have an email address that I use for receipts – so easy – I never lose a receipt – it is available even months later if I need it for a warranty claim – no need to have some old box full of pieces of paper.

AnonZ January 9, 2019 at 9:46 AM

I would like to see CVS shorten their receipts – they ARE ridiculous. But I will always want a paper receipt because I don’t want to give out my email address, I don’t want receipts filling up my inbox and I don’t want to search, find and print it when I need to return something!

HappyPappy January 9, 2019 at 9:53 AM

SomeTingWong –
Can’t wait to attach his name to something.This guy’s an idiot!

Old-school guy January 9, 2019 at 10:25 AM

Have you seen the receipts on a spindle at a restaurant counter? I once asked what happens to them. The waitperson says they are kept until the end of the night (just to confirm orders if a question should arise), then put into a garbage can. Would that practice be exempt from this law?

concord grape January 9, 2019 at 10:28 AM

Just create a new e/g mail account and clean it out weekly.

tired of taxes January 9, 2019 at 10:41 AM

Don’t y’all get your panties twisted.
Y’all can still ask for a paper receipt. It’ll just cost you 10 cents extra.

Silva January 9, 2019 at 11:11 AM

I murdered my thyroid gland handling the chemicals found in that receipt paper in the form of Airline/trip itineraries. Don’t hold onto receipts any longer than it takes. I say “put it in the bag please.” lots.

RANDOM TASK January 9, 2019 at 11:20 AM

so every store has been hacked and information on millions of customers stolen …and now demifornia again wants to reward the criminals

at our expense …the real question is how does this benefit the politicians …because we all know they do nothing without lining their pockets first….with tax money oh sorry donations

Tsa January 9, 2019 at 2:51 PM

Well said!

Bob January 9, 2019 at 11:21 AM


ZZ January 9, 2019 at 11:27 AM

Yes, they have to ask you what you want, paper or e-receipt.
I wonder when they will start banning bread bag ties, plastic on your meat in the grocery store, pens, plastic handles on scissors, zip lock baggies, etc. etc.

Captain Bebops January 9, 2019 at 11:48 AM

I always get my receipts at CVS sent to the app. But they often ask if I want it that way or on paper. Usually I’m only getting one thing (that is on sale or promo) anyway.

Long receipts are the result of modern corporate overzealous marketing people who want to “engage” their customer. That want to use everything they can to get that big bonus at the end of the year, the customer be damned.

giddyup January 9, 2019 at 1:40 PM

Mankind could end the threat of glibal warming by preventing CVS alone from attaching all those useless coupons to the end of their receipts.

BagsFlyFree January 9, 2019 at 12:19 PM

Do we expect elderly citizens to remain on the bleeding edge with the Square funded politicos in Sactown? How does grandma prove her purchase if the email address provided to the store was wrong? Step back and find real issues to solve All Day CA.

BFF Out!

Double Dzzz January 9, 2019 at 1:05 PM

It,s all about big brother keeping track of everything we do people.

Forsythe January 9, 2019 at 1:15 PM

Due to China’s stricter recycling rules, I think it makes sense to consider more ways to reduce waste.

It is my understanding that buyers could still opt for a paper receipt, so I believe this legislation would be more flexible that it might appear at first glance.

Hopefully there would be exemptions for small businesses such as restaurants, and local contractors.

Concordejet January 9, 2019 at 1:39 PM

Guess What? it just another day in California!

Original G January 9, 2019 at 2:09 PM

On second thought,
Will there be penalties in the bill to prevent email address and information on what you bought from being sold to data brokers ?
Data mining is a multi billions of dollar business ?

Is this bill really about saving trees and water or is the bill about turning you and your purchase information into a salable commodity and source of profit ?.

Think of checkout the added time delay in entering your email address.
An what about people who will intentionally screw with big brother by giving a fake email each time they checkout ?

Concord74 January 9, 2019 at 2:36 PM

Why is this latest idiotic tack is so surprising?? Any demoncrat is subject to this type of idiocy. Look what is happening with Schumer, Pelosi, Feinstein, Steyer, adnauseum re: comment that what is the danger for not having a wall?
I would love to SEE that these morons welcome these border jumpers into the USA and housed them at their homes!!

Randy of the Redwoods January 9, 2019 at 5:10 PM

This is a righteous Law…if we follow Laws like this all the Monkeys in the rain forest will have trees to live in man!

Boycott The Circus January 9, 2019 at 5:49 PM

Man… can you people be anymore rude about this topic? Nothing wrong with getting a text message as your receipt and YEAH help save trees and water… sheesh…I’m down for anything that helps the environment… I hope this bill passes!

DJ January 10, 2019 at 7:40 AM

How is it rude to express your feelings? This is what this site is for. Get off if you don’t like it.

Simonpure January 10, 2019 at 9:30 AM

Only time I ask for a receipt is if I use cash. All other transactions are already documented and available at a moments notice.

JustMe January 10, 2019 at 3:25 PM

I’ve said this before, this will never end.

No plastic bags, no straws, now no receipts. It’s a wonder we’ve been able to come this far without the government telling us what to do.

Not everyone has a smart phone. My mother for example. So she wouldn’t have a receipt. But say you email it- and she doesn’t really use email, but it would be somewhere. If you need to return something, and you have an electronic receipt, and no smartphone, what do you do? No returns?

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I overheard grocery store workers in Clayton complaining that they can easily tell if anyone is stealing from them, because people aren’t buying bags, or bringing their own, and leaving with just groceries in the cart or in their arms. They did say at least you had a receipt. Hah!

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