Business

Trader Joe's to remove chemicals from receipts

BPA and BPS banned in baby bottles and other products

Shoppers are reflected in a window in front of Trader Joe’s grocery store signage in the Brooklyn borough of New York on July 18, 2017. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Mark Kauzlarich.
Shoppers are reflected in a window in front of Trader Joe’s grocery store signage in the Brooklyn borough of New York on July 18, 2017. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Mark Kauzlarich.
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Cleanup in the checkout aisle.

Trader Joe’s, the grocer known for its eclectic products — and frequently Hawaiian-shirt-clad workers — will remove two controversial substances from its register receipts, according to a statement on the company’s website.

The chemicals — BPA and BPS — are widespread in register and ATM receipts, according to findings by the Ecology Center, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based organization that works with consumers and companies to promote greener products and practices.

A study being released Wednesday in partnership with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families — a coalition of environmental and health groups — showed BPA and BPS were found in 93 percent of 208 register receipts tested. They came from a variety of businesses, including major retailers, banks, and gas stations.

“We are now pursuing receipt paper that is free of phenol chemicals (including BPA and BPS), which we will be rolling out to all stores as soon as possible,” Mark Sloan, vice president of product marketing, said in a statement.

The Ecology Center sent a letter to Trader Joe’s informing the chain of its findings before the report’s release.

Trader Joe’s operates a store in Coralville.

The United States has banned BPA in sippy cups, baby bottles and formula packaging, following similar measures in Canada and the European Union. Some studies have shown the substance disrupts normal hormone functioning, particularly in younger people, while others have traced links to diabetes and obesity.

The substance also is found in food-can linings and various plastic items. The Ecology Center calls BPS a “common and regrettable substitute” with similar effects.

Best Buy is among retailers using receipts free of the substances, the report said.

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Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families ranked Trader Joe’s 25th of 30 in a ranking of retailers’ chemicals policies released in November, one of nine that earned a failing grade. Best Buy ranked seventh with a B.

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