Heights Libraries goes green with yellow receipts
Customers at Heights Libraries may notice that the check-out receipts, computer passes, and hold-item covers look a little sunnier lately.
“It’s the vitamin C,” said Circulation Manager Ty Emerson, pointing out the lemon-yellow tone of the paper.
Vitamin C is a key component of the new BPA- and BPS-free thermal paper that the library started using in March as part of its ongoing efforts to make healthier and more environmentally-friendly decisions part of its every-day operations. Receipts and other paper items created with thermal printers don’t require ink or toner and instead rely on heat and chemicals on the paper to create an image. The new paper at Heights Libraries uses vitamin C as a developer to create the letters on the paper instead of phenol-based chemicals like BPA and BPS that have been linked to health problems, including cancer.
“The old product we used was labeled BPA-free, so we assumed it was safe, but after a customer wrote to us with her concerns, we did some research and learned that many companies replaced BPA with another phenol-based chemical called BPS, which is very similar to BPA and should also be avoided,” said Emerson.
Additionally, the old paper caused other problems. “We learned through one of our own public programs on recycling that flimsy paper like receipt paper cannot be recycled,” said Emerson. “It actually gums up the works! But this new paper is thicker, and more substantial, so it can be recycled.”
“Cleveland Heights residents have always been progressive when it comes to things like the environment,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “This new paper may seem like a small change, but we know it means a lot to our community that we take every opportunity to have a positive impact on the health of our customers, staff and planet.”
Sheryl Banks is the communications manager for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.