Plastic Paradise film

I saw the film “Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” in February 2016 at the Richmond, VA Environmental Film Festival. After the film we had a phone conversation with the director, Angela Sun.

I have been thinking a lot about plastic in my life.

Before I watched the film I had switched over to using cloth shopping bags. Even to this day I have to inform the attendant at each cash register that I have my own bag. Otherwise the shopping items would go into a plastic bag. That step is so automatic for them.

Many cities in the US and around the globe are now banning plastic bags forcing people to use paper bags or to bring their own to the store.…/which-countries-have-banned-plastic-bag…

Sadly, Virginia, where I live, is not featured on that list.

Cash Register Receipt paper

Angela Sun mentioned in the talk after the film that most cash register receipt paper is made with plastic. And it is embedded with BPA to keep it pliable.

So here we are buying BPA free plastic materials to hold our food and drink and we are handed a receipt dripping in BPA. Quite ironic, I think.

Quote from wikipedia: “BPA is a xenoestrogen, exhibiting estrogen-mimicking, hormone-like properties that raise concern about its suitability in some consumer products and food containers. ” … “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ended its authorization of the use of BPA in baby bottles and infant formula packaging, based on market abandonment, not safety. The European Union and Canada have banned BPA use in baby bottles.”

Another quote from wikipedia: “When taking hold of a receipt consisting of thermal printing paper for five seconds, roughly 1 μg BPA (0.2–0.6 μg) was transferred to the forefinger and the middle finger if the skin was rather dry, and about ten times more than this if these fingers were wet or very greasy. Exposure to a person who repeatedly touches thermal printer paper for about ten hours per day, such as at a cash register, could reach 71 micrograms per day, which is 42 times less than the present tolerable daily intake (TDI).”

Why aren’t stores giving their cash register attendants gloves to wear?

Stores that can email you a receipt

Some stores and banks will now email you a receipt (Macy’s, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Home Depot, Nordstrom, Best Buy, Whole Foods, Kmart, Sears and Gap.)…/retailers-e-mail-digita…/1675069/

Do we really need to wear gloves to receive the receipts we get from stores or wash our hands when we get home from shopping at a store?

For me, I’m going to wear gloves to place the receipt in a bag until I can scan it when I get home. What about you?

Derryl Cocks is a founding member of Piedmont Ecovillage, a forming community that plans to purchase and build housing and to live in a way that is compatible with the environment on the outskirts of Richmond, VA.

The Dangers of Printed Receipts from Stores