BREAST CANCER ACTION QUEBEC, ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE, MIND THE STORE AND UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS CANADA
Toronto, Ont. – Our organizations offer our congratulations and thanks to Metro for responding to calls by consumers and workers across the country to end the use of receipt paper coated with toxic BPA or BPS by August 2021 in all Metro food and pharmacy banners.
In 2019, we launched a public call-to-action urging Costco Canada, Loblaw, Metro, Sobeys and Walmart Canada, Canada’s largest grocery retailers, to ditch toxic receipts. To date, Costco Canada, Loblaw and Metro responded to our call and honoured the request of thousands of workers and consumers who wrote letters to the companies asking for immediate action on this issue. We encourage these companies to ensure that substitutes don’t contain other hazardous bisphenols or regrettable substitutes.
With its decision to phase out BPA and BPS on receipts, Costco Canada, Loblaw and Metro have shown that the retail sector can readily step up and take the measures necessary to protect workers and the public from hazardous chemicals, even in the absence of government action. We are now renewing our call to Sobeys and Walmart Canada to follow the lead of the others and commit to removing bisphenol-coated receipts by the end of the year.
“Hormone mimicking chemicals like BPA and BPS have no place in the workplace, especially in high impact items like cash register receipts,” said Tim Gray, executive director, Environmental Defence. “Companies like Metro show our governments the way forward to address these chemical threats and should be congratulated.”
“UFCW Canada commends Metro for showing leadership on this issue and setting an example for other retailers to follow,” said Paul Meinema, National President, UFCW Canada. “Doing everything possible to better protect UFCW Canada members and all workers from environmental risks – like BPA and BPS – must be the top priority for industry, government, and all stakeholders.”
“When women learn that thermal paper used for receipts is coated with BPA or BPS that is transferred to their hands and can penetrate the skin, they are understandably very upset,” said Jennifer Beeman, executive director, Breast Cancer Action Quebec. “Given the health risks associated with bisphenols, we are very pleased to know that Metro will be phasing out their use in receipts and that major retailers are stepping up to take responsible actions on the issue of toxic exposures for their workers and their clients. Hopefully, this leadership will inspire other retailers, large and small, to follow for the sake of our health and our environment.”
“We’re happy to see that this has been a growing sustainability trend among retailers in both the U.S. and Canada,” said Mike Schade, campaign director, Toxic-Free Future’s Mind the Store program. “Retailers have an obligation to protect both customers and employees from unnecessary hormone disrupting chemicals—especially when safer alternatives exist. Companies that have not yet acted, like Sobeys, must get on board.”
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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:
Sarah Jamal, Environmental Defence, firstname.lastname@example.org