The term carbonless paper refers to any paper that makes multiple copies of itself without the need for carbon paper sheets between each copy and the technology used to create these copies. The most popular type of carbonless paper is called NCR paper, or No Carbon Required paper, which requires an NCR machine to be created. This article explains what chemicals are in NCR paper and how they work together to create many duplicate documents simultaneously.
NCR paper health risks
Carbonless copy paper contains carbon disulfide and ethylene dibromide (EDB). Studies have shown that carbon disulfide causes kidney and nerve damage, while EDB is linked to cancer. Other studies show that carbon-based papers can be harmful when photocopied repeatedly; however, with newer copiers, not much information exists on how much harm comes from using a copier versus making copies by hand.
Although most suppliers of non-carbonated copy paper will no longer use carbon or EDB in their products, you should research before deciding on a supplier.
At Northbrook Paper, we pride ourselves on our commitment to producing all of our non-carbon-based copy paper without these harmful chemicals and all of our other printing materials.
NCR paper recycling
Recycling is key for saving natural resources, energy, and money. But it’s not enough to recycle paper. The material used for printing on paper also needs to be recyclable. Most commonly, carbonless copy paper uses a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA).
BPA is a controversial chemical that acts as an estrogen mimic. Which can disrupt normal hormone function and has been linked with reproductive problems like reduced sperm counts and early onset of puberty in girls. Avoid any form of copy paper made with BPA and look for chemical-free recycled carbonless copy paper options instead.
The right way to dispose of old checks
Anyone who has worked with paper checks knows they’re a pain. They’re big, bulky, and not particularly cost-effective. A new system using carbonless copies of checks is much more efficient and cost-effective.
Since these copies are made on a machine known as an NCR (no carbon required) printer, they’re called NCR papers (also known as carbonless papers, no carbon required papers, etc.). Read on for more information about what chemicals are used in NCR paper and how you can get rid of old checks safely and effectively.
Are cash register receipts recyclable?
That depends. If you’re talking about receipts with carbonless paper, then yes, they are recyclable. The carbon-based part of those receipts can be recycled like regular paper. The part that gets tossed may cause concern for some consumers is polyethylene or plastic.
Polyethylene helps make those slips strong and tear-resistant (and also keeps food grease off your hands). But there’s no need to worry if you have a polyethylene receipt.
It isn’t bad for you, and it won’t leach harmful chemicals into your food or drinks. If it touches them (there are trace amounts of chemicals present that might become apparent if a receipt is kept submerged in water over time).
Are there alternatives to regular paper receipts?
As Americans, we’re accustomed to taking our receipts. After all, they’re a part of life and an essential source of proof if any issues should arise with your purchases. However, while they may seem like harmless pieces of paper, most receipts contain harmful chemicals that could have an adverse effect on your health.
(A recent survey revealed that 74% of consumers believed something on paper receipts was harmful.) Fortunately, you can find ways around printing out paper receipts. If you’re concerned about what chemicals you’re exposed to when handling them.
My opinion on how we can best move forward
Plastic is a non-renewable resource that is negatively impacting our environment at an alarming rate. With plastic comes to waste and pollution. To combat these issues, we need to start making lifestyle changes that reduce our overall consumption of single-use plastics. Switching from plastic bags and water bottles to reusable options will directly impact reducing pollution and leaving a better world for future generations.
As technology advances, many companies develop innovative products that make our lives easier. And with each new development, a group of people is always questioning its effect on our health and well-being. Regarding computer printing paper, some think its use leads to increased exposure to harmful chemicals and toxins. While some research has been done around these concerns. It’s difficult to say exactly what ingredients have made their way into modern versions of NRC Paper. At a glance, NRC (No-Recycled Content) seems like an ideal alternative for consumers who want to choose healthier products but can’t avoid standard printer paper completely.