California has apparently solved all of its major problems and will now embark on a quest to rid the state of its one and only remaining menace: long paper receipts.
Fox News reports that California is following up its plastic bag ban and subsequent plastic straw ban with a "paper receipt ban" designed to save the environment by forcing stores to send electronic receipts or text receipts rather than provide paper proof of purchase.
Democrats in the legislature say they will provide a carve-out for people who prefer paper receipts, allowing stores to provide paper receipts upon request. A similar carve-out was made in the plastic straw ban for those who rely on plastic straws to aid in food and drink consumption. Stores in California still offer bags to customers who don't bring their own, but at a premium.
The crusade against receipts is being led by California legislator Phil Ting, who hails, of course, from San Francisco. Ting says his bill will not only save the environment from the completely-disposable and quick-degrading printer paper, but protect California consumers from trace amounts of dangerous chemicals.
"[The law is needed because paper receipts pose a health risk many consumers are unaware of chemicals Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Bisphenol-S (BPS), already prohibited in baby bottles, which cannot be recycled and with which most paper receipts are coated," Fox News reports. "The bill would require all businesses to provide proof of purchase receipts electronically starting in 2022 unless a customer asks for a printed copy."
Stores who do not comply with the ban will be subject to written warnings, followed by fines, which gradually increase from $25 per day to $300 per day.
Ting demonstrated the scourge of long paper receipts by dressing up a legislative aide as a larger-than-life paper receipt.
California introduces bill banning paper receipts using man dressed as receipt pic.twitter.com/ThSab7f41p— English News (@EnglishNews16) January 10, 2019
Most major retailers already allow customers to select either e-receipt or paper receipt options, but some California lawmakers are concerned that smaller, local stores won't be able to offer the same convenience by 2022, when the law goes into effect. Others raised concerns about consumers who do not have home internet connections or don't own smart phones.
Ting seemed unconcerned.
Although the issue seems almost laughable, California legislators appear to be focusing on the tangential to avoid working on major issues facing the state, like an impending budget crisis, high taxes, and an overall drop in trade with China, which affects port cities in California directly.
As for Ting's home district of San Francisco, the city is facing an unprecedented homeless problem, which, in turn, has led to streets covered in filth and drug paraphernalia.
But at least they won't be covered in old receipts!