Sure, they’re paper, but the majority of receipts (estimated at 93%) are coated with Bisphenol-A (BPA) or Bisphenol-S (BPS), which is used as a color developer to help the receipts be legible. (It is the BPA that makes them ineligible for recycling.) But not being recyclable isn’t the problem, it’s the BPA and BPS. Just touching those receipts means the chemical coating is being absorbed into our bodies and the chemicals have been linked to fetal development (linked to reproductive impairment), type 2 diabetes, thyroid conditions and other health concerns.
When I can, I sign up for text or email receipts. It’s easier to keep track of it, I don’t touch it and it’s a lot less wasteful. When you do get receipts, wash your hands as soon as you can and try not to touch your face.