Can Thermal Paper be Recycled?
Can thermal paper be recycled? Well, you might want to think twice about recycling thermal paper if you like recycling almost everything. Thermal paper is the leading type of paper used in printing a good number of receipts. The thermal paper generally has to be coated with a chemical referred to as BPS (Bisphenol S) or BPA (Bisphenol A) for the numbers to be visible. Research has shown that BPA disrupts hormones that can pose a significant risk, especially to infants, children, and pregnant women. It has also been connected to the risk of diabetes, liver toxicity, and heart disease. Bisphenol S has also been linked with the same effects.
Given the negative effect, thermal paper chemicals pose to human beings, it’s advisable not to recycle thermal paper. If recycled, it can result in everyday products such as paper towels, toilet papers, or even shopping bags – a scary thought, right? Surprisingly, BPA can enter our bodies through the skin from just a simple touch.
However, some companies have worked hard to find the solution to this problem. It’s almost entirely resolved! To eradicate this problem, thermal paper companies have started manufacturing BPA-free thermal paper. It makes thermal receipt paper recyclable as long as you have confirmed it’s BPA-free. This brings about the question, is BPA-free thermal paper recyclable? The answer is yes!
More problems with BPA
Apart from causing harm to the human body, BPA is also harmful to the environment. During the recycling process, BPA might be released into the air posing harm to the environment while still adding the risk of exposure to humans. Just a single receipt paper can contaminate other recyclable stuff in your recycle bin. Thankfully, a huge number of thermal paper companies in the US have stopped applying BPA to their paper products.
It’s worth mentioning that thermal receipt papers that contain BPA can easily be ingested accidentally by someone, especially children. This is very dangerous as they will have swallowed a considerable amount of BPA.
So, can thermal paper be recycled?
Let’s take a look at other reasons why you may not want to recycle your receipt papers.
Receipt papers don’t become useless immediately after use. Aside from the BPA concerns, thermal receipt papers can contain sensitive information you may want to keep. Such receipts may contain identification details like full names and credit card numbers. To avoid exposing your details to a stranger, it’s recommended to shred the receipt before tossing it away.
You can also keep the thermal paper receipts as financial records. It’s always a smart idea to keep records of your purchases for future budgeting or financial references. Create a space for the receipts so that you can pile many of them without necessarily creating a mess. Keep in mind that to return an item after purchase, you need to show your purchase receipt. It would be best to keep it for a little longer before getting rid of purchase receipts.
The best way to dispose of thermal receipt papers
The most recommended way of getting rid of thermal receipt paper that contains BPA is by trashing it and thereafter washing hands. Even though it’s not the best way, it’s the most effective for isolating BPS and BPA from our environment.
If you frequent a particular retail shop, it would be best to inquire about the type of paper they are using for their receipts. Consider asking them to switch to BPA/BPS-free thermal receipt paper if they haven’t yet.
Can thermal paper be recycled? Yes, if it’s BPA-free.