Story & Photos by Julie Archer
According to PETA, each year, more than 100 million animals in the U.S. are killed because of animal testing. Up to 200,000 of these animals come from cosmetic testing alone. Cosmetic testing does not mean that scientists are applying blush on bunnies. Skin and eye irritation tests are performed where chemicals are rubbed on open skin or dripped into eyes. Bunnies, mice, guinea pigs and dogs are force fed and held under observations for months at a time for signs of illness or health hazards an ingredient may cause. Lethal dose tests are also performed, where animals are force fed chemicals until they die so scientists can determine the amount that causes death. Animals are left with burns, bleeding skin and organ damage. At the end of testing, any remaining animals are killed through lethal injection, neck-breaking or decapitation.
Most companies who continue to test on animals want to create formulas with new, untested ingredients. Some alternatives to animal testing are in vitro test methods, meaning testing on human cells or tissues, human patient simulators and non-invasive imaging techniques such as MRI and CT scans.
“In the U.S., there is no single legal definition of the term ‘cruelty-free,’ and the FDA’s website even states that this allows for the unrestricted use of the term,” Amanda Nordstrom, company liaison for PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program, said. “Unfortunately, this means that some companies may state that they don’t test on animals – even while they’re paying for tests on animals in China.”
When looking for companies that are legitimately cruelty-free, it is important to check if they sell products in China because Chinese law requires all cosmetics to be tested on animals. There are companies that will say they are cruelty-free because they do not test their products on animals in other countries, but continue to sell their products in China, which are tested on animals.
“NYX, a brand of L’Oreal, does not test any of its products or ingredients on animals and has been at the forefront of alternative methods for over 30 years,” said a NYX cosmetics representative.
Although L’Oreal is not a cruelty-free company because their products are sold in China, once NYX was acquired by L’Oreal, NYX Cosmetics kept their commitment to being a cruelty-free company. They do not sell their products in China and their products are now vegan-friendly as well, meaning there are no animal products used in their cosmetics.
A popular animal product used in eyeshadows is carmine, a red powdery substance that is made by crushing dried insects. It is used to create variations of red, pink and purple pigments in cosmetics. Companies who are vegan use pressed-pigments instead of carmine in their eyeshadows. Pressed-pigments are a loose powder and the main ingredient in eyeshadow. In normal shadows, the pigment is put into the pan with other ingredients (like talc) to make the eyeshadow smooth. For red eyeshadows, mixing the pigment with the other ingredients dilutes the color, thus making a pressed-pigment, the loose powder pressed into a pan.
As more technology and safer ingredients become available, companies are making the switch to being cruelty-free. Covergirl, a company who has sold in China for years, pulled their products from China and are now certified as cruelty-free.
“[Cosmetic testing on animals] is not required in the U.S., and these tests are now illegal in all member countries of the EU, India, Israel, Norway, Turkey, New Zealand, Switzerland, and other regions,” Nordstrom said.
One of the best ways to combat animal testing is to only purchase products that are cruelty-free, which creates a demand in the market for cruelty-free cosmetics and provides a monetary incentive for cosmetic companies to sell cruelty-free products. An easy way to tell if the brand is 100 percent cruelty-free and not selling their products in China is to check the back of the box on the product. At the bottom, there should be a small bunny that says cruelty-free.
To find a list of all brands that do not test on animals, visit features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx.
Winter is almost here. Temperatures have already dropped below freezing this season. Thousands of people die each year from winter related car accidents and more than 100,000 are injured each year. Snow and ice are to be expected during Oklahoma winters.
Below are a few tips to keep drivers safe on snowy or icy roads this winter:
• Keep ice scraper and Deicer in your vehicle.
• Do not pour hot water on iced windshield, This could shatter your windshield.
• Spray deicer on your car door handles if they're frozen in place. Pulling on then when frozen can shatter plastic handles.
• Drive slow. Driving fast on icy roads can make you lose control on your car.
• Keep a cell phone with you and make sure it is fully charged in case of emergencies.
• People driving long distances to visit family should be aware of the weather conditions ahead of time and inform family and friends expecting them of their planned route and arrival window.
• Do not use cruise control when driving in slippery conditions.
• Avoid driving under difficult conditions when possible.
• Do not follow other cars too closely. Give yourself enough space to brake.
• Keep at least one blanket and phone charger in your vehicle.
• Bridges freeze faster than any other part of the road. Slow down when approaching a bridge.
Recipe by Michelle Rojano
• Fresh Strawberries or any other berries of choice
• 1lb of Mexican sour cream, other types of sour cream may be used, but taste will vary.
• 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
Wash all the strawberries.
Optional: Cut off the stems of the strawberries and cut them into slices. The size of slices can vary by preference. Whole strawberries can also be used.
Pour all of the sour cream into a large bowl.
Pour about half of the can of sweetened condensed milk into the large bowl with the sour cream.
Use a whisk to mix together until thoroughly combined. Taste the cream mixture.
Add more to taste if necessary. I personally use about two thirds of the can, but if a sweeter cream is desired, more can be used.
Place the strawberries in a cup or bowl and pour desired amount of cream over.
Story by Michelle Rojano
Social media has become a daily hobby in many people’s lives. About 77 percent of the U.S. population was active on social media in 2018, according to Statista, and around 92 percent of teens access the internet daily. Although social media can be a useful tool for many, there is a risk of exposing young children and teens to content and attention they may not be mentally prepared for.
Similar to school experience, kids and teens strive to fit in and be liked on social media. Except now, there is a measurable amount of “likes” and attention.
“For younger people, likes are really important to the popular people because they have to have a certain number of likes or they aren’t good enough,” high school senior Tapangia Richardson said. Forty-three percent of teens ages 13-17 delete posts because they have not received enough likes and even feel negatively about themselves when no one likes or comments on the posts according to Common Sense Media.
Copying trends for likes and shares
People of all ages can quickly immerse themselves in viral trends. The Harlem Shake, Ice Bucket Challenge, Baby Shark, Kiki Challenge, Duck-face Photo, Tide Pod, California Reaper Challenge, Cinnamon Challenge are just a few examples of viral videos that influenced many. Some of these trends can be positive, like giving food and money to the less fortunate, but the majority are strictly for entertainment. “Social media is not healthy for young adults because one person does something stupid, like eating a tide pod, and it’s now the thing to do and is the latest challenge,” said Richardson.
Influenced content does not strictly stop at video challenges; it also includes fashion, makeup, photos and body trends. According to Shareablee, seven out of pthe top 10 social media influencers are female celebrities, including Kylie Jenner as number one, Kim Kardashian as number five and Nicki Minaj as number eight.
According to Dr. Elizabeth Boger, professor of psychology, research has proven consumers are in fact impacted by media. She also mentioned how younger audiences are more vulnerable to fads, diets and fasts endorsed by celebrities. “Adolescence is a period where a person's appearance becomes more important to them--for a variety of reasons. Given the increased importance of a person's perceived appearance and the ease of access to celebrity images, it's pretty easy to see why celebrities can have such an impact,” Boger said.
Social media influencer’s lips and bodies have been the cause of many girl’s photos, poses and purchases. From posting selfies almost identical to the influencer’s to overlining lips, it is obvious these celebrities have led and contributed to photo, makeup and body trends. “Celebrities do have an impact on young followers … a lot of celebrities are really skinny and almost so skinny it’s not healthy and they are considered beautiful. Also, celebrities help inspire young kids to become the next celebrity, or just like the celebrity,” Richardson said.
Body image is referring to how people view themselves. Body Dysmorphic Disorder is when someone has a consistent issue with an imagined or minor flaw, according to Mental Health America.
“Research varies on the percentage of the population with BDD, due to the potential for underreporting,”, Dr. Broger said. “It is a disorder where people seek to be less noticeable, as opposed to more noticeable, and how marked the disorder is changes over time and may be more or less intrusive at different points in a person’s life. The most recent statistics I've seen indicate around 2.4% of the population has it, but again there may be many more people who don't realize that's what they're suffering.”
Constantly comparing one’s body to others is a symptom of the disorder. Social media is an easy way for ordinary people to compare themselves to celebrities and people in their own lives. This explains the trend of portraying the body and look of popular people on social media.
Most women will use makeup to look better and hide flaws. Recently, the feature of plump lips and perfectly shaped eyebrows has overtaken the internet. Women have quickly fallen into the trend by showing off their makeup looks of dark, similarly shaped eyebrows and by viewing tutorials on how to overline lips to appear larger thousands of times.
Illusion of Social Media
Not only can social media be taxing for users comparing themselves to Instagram models, but it can also be exhausting for influencers. Many YouTubers and Instagram models have fallen off the map or begun to change their content to real life content. Evenlina, Youtuber and influencer, has recently shared a video describing her experience in keeping up the lifestyle she portrayed in social media and how the industry is full of people living double lives for likes and views.
“I spent a couple of hours getting ready, doing my makeup, doing my hair, setting up the lighting and everything and I look in the camera and it doesn’t look right... In my heart, I know that I am not ugly or a super insecure person but for [making content] I get so much anxiety, so much stress over how I look on camera as I am filming and I am doing it right now, I am already running all of the negative comments…”
According to Dr. Boger, it is easy for people to confuse a person’s looks with their expertise about a subject. If someone loses weight easily and is considered beautiful, it is easy for people to consider them experts on the subjects of beauty and health. People will be more likely to trust their advice. “A celebrity who lost a lot of weight after an illness, pregnancy, or other situation may mention their favorite fast/cleanse/diet… but they may not mention the personal trainer, the many hours each day spent working out, the expensive food prepared by someone else and many other factors that allow them to lose weight quickly,” said Dr. Boger.
Social media can make vulnerable people an easy target for bullying. It is widely known that young users have gone as far as taking their lives due to online bullying. Even adult users fall prey to wide scale ridicule; characters like Sweet Brown, Walmart yodeling boy and many others have turned into internet jokes. Although the attention can turn positive in many of cases, for others, it can push them to extreme actions.
Social media is not the sole cause for bulimia, depression or anorexia, but it can trigger those who are vulnerable.
“Of American elementary school girls who read magazines, 69 percent say that the pictures influence their concept of the ideal body shape, 47 percent say the pictures make them want to lose weight,” according to National Eating Disorders Association. Americans have now replaced written media with online websites and social media, meaning young people have the same content at higher volumes and readily available. Although less prominent, National Eating Disorders Association also linked photos and media to men’s body image.
Despite the risks, social media has begun to make a push into body positivity and natural beauty. Victoria Edmond, Owner of Burden Free Cosmetics, focuses her brand on not making people not only look beautiful, but also feel beautiful, “ [Our goals] are to encourage women to radiate their unique beauty from the inside out.” As a young woman herself, she is no stranger to the challenges social media poses to self-love. “When we try to be like each other we are missing that gold mine of diversity,” Edmond said.
Worldwide brands have also begun to support body positivity and diverse beauty. Aerie has recently launched a campaign featuring models of all weight,sizes and disabilities. Dove has also joined the movement, featuring women and children of all sizes and backgrounds into their advertisements. Brands like Fenty by Rihanna have added to the otherwise limited range of makeup for women of darker skin tones. From true nude lip shades for darker complexions to foundations that match a wider range of darker skin tones. Nike has even begun selling its first ever sports hijab.
The support of brands in diversity campaigns helps people embrace individuality.
Healthy Use of Social Media
It is important for adults to take steps to monitor children’s and teens social media use. Parents should have an idea of their children’s online activity without reading absolutely everything that is posted or read by their children. Boger recommends avoiding intrusive behavior since it could lead to hostility. She also recommended limiting social media use. The average teen uses social media eight hours a day. Limiting the use could help teach them time management skills.
It is also important to lead by example. “Children, including teens, are acutely aware of their parents’ behavior, including hypocrisy,” said Boger. She explained parents who use social media in a positive way are likely to have better results in how their kids use social media vs parents who are on social media eight hours a day and use their social media in a negative way.
Social media has proven to have the power to kick-start change. Activist movements like Black Lives Matter movement, Me Too movement and many fundraisers have began online. Besides political movements, people have been able to find true love, support groups, keep up with news or learn about cultures from around the world through social media. Thanks to the massive reach of social media, the world has had a chance to change for the better.
Story & Photos by Yesenia Gonzalez
Paige Stramski is a recruiter at Rose State. She attended Rose State from 2011-2013 and later transferred to Oklahoma State University for a degree in marketing. Stramski was active in Rose State Student Senate during her time as a student and served as secretary during the 2012-2013 school year. Stramski is active in student affairs, and her duties include assisting student organizations, the Student Senate, maintaining club budgets and managing event requests. She enjoys organizing campus events and wants to continue working with student organizations. This is a look at the essential items Stramski carries in her purse.
So definitely this is really random. Everyone always makes fun of me for this but they always wanna use it, so, it works out in my favor. I keep this—I'm notorious for my phone dying, like, all the time, anywhere—and so I keep a travel, like battery thing on me and so, that way I have my phone charger. Normally, I have this massive one. I have a smaller one, but it was dead and so, I have my big one today.
I always have my makeup [with me]. I always have it with me because I don't always put it on in the mornings, but if I'm going to a college fair, I don't necessarily. Sometimes, I have to wake up really early and so, I don't necessarily want to put it on at like 4:30 in the morning and then drive two hours with it, but I have it with me. That way, when I get there, you know, I don't have it on and I need to go to a meeting or something, I can throw a little bit on because I always have my makeup in here with me.
* A brush, that is crucial.
* And sunglasses.
* Hand lotion, for sure. Especially this time of year.
* And a pen. I always have a pen in my purse because I hate [that] you always need one and you never have one, and so I always try to keep one with me.
* This time of year I try to keep a pair of gloves in there just, having to give campus tours, you know my hands might be getting cold.
Story & Photos by Kessley Miller
What does it mean to be successful? Understanding this can vary from person to person. SomeAll people have a goal to fulfill in their lifetime, especially those who run their own business. The mindset of a business owner can make or break how fortunate they will be in their company’s endeavors.
Morgan Hatfield is a 20-year-old business woman who has created an empire base of devoted clients and customers who come to her Eyelash Salon located in Midwest City. This salon offers a variety of services including eyelash extensions, lash lifts and tints, even eyebrow waxing and eyebrow tints. Clients come from all over the state just to get pampered and feel beautiful.
Her passion for wanting to own her own business started from when she was a young girl. Her father is a business owner himself in Tulsa, which inspired her entrepreneurial mentality.
She also saw how her mother worked a typical Monday through Friday job, so watching the difference of dynamics between her parents helped Hatfield decide quickly of what she wanted to pursued as her career,. As time went on, she knew that she wanted to be her own boss and work for herself.
A little over two years ago in 2016, when Hatfield was only eighteen years old, she had recently just graduated from Choctaw High School, and was continuing her education at Rose State College as well as attending The Mid-Del Technology Center where she would receive her cosmetology license.
After obtainingwith her license, Morgan then, went on a whim, went to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma to take an eyelash training class. She explained that if she never took that step, she would not be where she is today.
She then started doing eyelashes for people by renting a small room in a local massage studio in Midwest City until she could open her own salon. Over the course of two years and working tirelessly, she then saved enough money to be able to get her own space. do that.
“One thing I was really big on was marketing,” Hatfield continued, “I started having girls I graduated with come to me [for their lash extensions], then their Mom’s started coming to me., and sSocial media has been a huge influence on getting my name out there for new clients.”
Hatfield used marketing to her advantage by posting on her personal Facebook all the time, making business cards as soon as she started doing lashes, and even put her business cards in the local Midwest City restaurant, Pelican’s.
Taking risks and opportunities are and chasing opportunities is vital for becoming a successful for being a business owner, and if that person does not stay innovative with their ideas, their company will become stagnant.
“One thing I would say that has helped me in my career is going to Rose State. When I first started out, I was just a General Business major until I spoke with my business advisor,” Hatfield said.continued, “He then got me connected with the small business operations program which has been very beneficial in the sense that these classes are helping me in making the best decisions for my own small business.”
Understanding the risk of owning and operating opening up one’s business is not always going to be obvious. Hatfield adds that she believes most people do not realize the work that goes into opening a business.in to opening a business up.
“Honestly, you have to have a lot of money with owning a business,” Hatfield added, “There are first-time purchases that a person has to make when opening the business, and now that I employee three other women, we spend so much more on inventory than when it was just me.”
Being young and a woman, many people have doubted Morgan’s capabilities as a business owner.Morgan with her capabilities of owning her business. She explains just how many how many people will try to not take a young woman seriously for her dreams, but she must push through what the skeptics might say and remember one important factor – there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Story & Photo by Carmen Jacobs
“It’s not what’s on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts,” and other similar sayings are frequently quoted when it comes to the subject of attraction. The media perpetuates the narrative that physical appearance should not be a factor in the pursuit of romantic relationships. Simultaneously, the media contradicts this and maintains a fixation on superficial, aesthetic qualities and continually inundates the public with templates of what an attractive person should look like. The entertainment, fashion, makeup,social media and dating app industries are some of the biggest culprits.
For example, Tinder is a popular dating app structured in a way that forces its users—all 50 million of them—to choose potential partners based almost purely on their looks. This allows users to find dates quickly and maximize their chances of finding a desirable partner. The media’s impact on the degree to which people value aesthetic is undeniably powerful. However, as powerful as it may be, is it the only factor influencing human attraction? Or are there internal, individualistic factors that influence whom one is attracted to? In every corner of the world, there is diversity in the attractiveness of people in relationships. If people had to fit society’s image of beauty to date, only a miniscule amount of people would be in relationships.
So what else is it that drives physical attraction?
Humans are born with a psychological mechanism that causes individuals to almost exclusively seek relationships with people in their own perceived realm of physical attractiveness.
However, the main key to this concept is that this behavior is not only involuntary, but subconscious. It does not just apply to people turning a blind eye to those deemed less attractive than them; the principle also applies to people deemed more attractive than them.
Of course, there are many couples who exhibit drastically varying levels of attractiveness who appear to be exceptions to this rule. Non-physical, features such as money, power, status and fetishization can, and often do, impact relationship pairings. Still, these relationships cannot be fully regarded as “exceptions” to the scientific rule.
According to Rose State Psychology Professor Dr. Richard Wedemeyer, people make the conscious decision to date someone for superficial reasons.
“This behavior is actually immoral, perhaps this is what people are thinking of when they think shallow.”
As it seems, the stereotypical belief that people in unequal relationships are likely dating their partner for superficial benefits is relatively true.
“This is why when we see an unlikely couple-an odd pairing walking down the street, we feel a bit of initial shock-we are a bit surprised. We feel this way for a reason—it’s not ‘normal’,” Wedemeyer said.
Considering that shallow relationships are driven by ulterior motives, it is logical to conclude that these couples do not actually defy the psychological principle. These relationships are created with shallow, ingenuine intentions, sacrifice the core values of a true, healthy relationship are sacrificed.
Even accounting for the impactful psychological factors, it is not surprising that someone in a high position of power would pursue a relationship with someone perceived to be far more attractive than them. The media gives society the impression that being in a relationship with someone seen as extremely physically attractive is a coveted accomplishment. This is one way the outer influence of the media still finds a way to override human nature and psychological instinct.
All things considered, this situation also does not break the scientific rule: the described person above would not be seeking a true connection to begin a sincere relationship. Instead, their desires and impulses would be almost completely superficial.
These examples and many others reflect how powerful the media’s influence can be on relationship formation and physical attraction. It is a powerful force that affects everyone in various ways.
Yes, looks do matter—and not only because the media tells society they do. While the media’s outside influence does play significant role in relationships and attraction, the inner workings of the brain are what actually determines whom individuals view as an ideal match. In this respect, the aforementioned saying takes on a new meaning: “It’s not what’s on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside.”
Styling and Maintaining Type 4 Curls
Story by Selena Williams
Photos by Julie Archer
Although society does not have the ability to tell people what to do with their hair, it promotes a standard of what beauty should look like. The media’s representation of beauty is so narrow and people who are not confident in themselves can fall prey to altering their appearance in order to feel accepted.
According to Taniah Herron, a sociology major at Rose State, hair was considered to be good straight or wavy in her family. Taniah has type 4c curls and her mother, Tamica Webster, has type 3a curls.
“Growing up even to this point, I still have people in my family that believe that good hair is biracial hair or straight hair,” Herron said. “You know, the finer the hair the better the hair or the more defined the curl is, the better it is. Still, to this day, I look at it like that, you know the easier your hair is to tame the better your hair is. So, you know I do like my hair, but at times I look at it like ‘Oh, I wish I had this person’s hair,’ because society tells us that’s what good hair is.”
Soon-to-be aesthetician and Rose State biology major Olivia Tarver thought the same.
“I feel that society tells us that natural hair should be straight and you shouldn’t embrace your curls,” Tarver said. “It took a while to start loving my naturally curly hair, but I think being natural made me look at myself like I'm worth more, it made me realize that I don’t need to be what society considers unique.”
According to Herron, people prefer straight hair because it is considered to be more clean and classy.
“I remember people coming up to me when I first really started wearing an afro, they would say, ‘oh, my gosh!’ I really love the wild hair,’” Herron said. “I don’t really know what that means; maybe they’re saying that curly hair is considered to be out of the ordinary and that’s what makes them feel so uncomfortable because nobody’s curl pattern is the same. No matter if you have 4a or 4c, we all have different curl patterns. Our hair flows a certain way whereas, with straight hair, you either have thick or thin.”
Types 4a and 4c curl types do not have a defined curl pattern. It shrinks 70 percent more than any other hair texture.
How to moisturize type 3 or higher natural curly hair
Deep conditioning, oil treatments and hair masks are the best for keeping curly hair moisturized and fresh.
“I think a person with naturally curly hair should deep condition twice a week,” Tarver said. “Also, what keeps your hair healthy are scalp massages, they will promote hair growth and blood circulation.”
She also emphasized the need for leave-in conditioner.
“Wet Line Xtreme Professional Styling Gel is a great gel to use on curly hair because it won’t make your hair feel crunchy. Some other products to use are Nairobi, Shea Moisture, TGIN (Thank God It’s Natural), Carol’s Daughter and Camille Rose Naturals Products.”
How to maintain naturally curly hair
“Protective hairstyles like braids and twists are a perfect way to maintain curly hair and to promote hair growth,” Tarver said. “Also, stay away from any products that contain alcohol, sulfates and parabens; use satin hair ties when you put your hair up in a bun or ponytail to avoid breakage.” It is also important to avoid over processing hair.
“If a person with curly hair wants to switch up their hairstyle, I recommend them straightening their hair only once or twice a year,” Tarver said.
In spite of societal standards often determining what is considered beautiful, curly hair is natural and learning to care for it can help women better appreciate themselves.
For a hair texture quiz, visit naturallycurly.com.
Story by Bailey Walker
Photo by Michelle Rojano
Nearly every time someone purchases something, they receive something extra for free. People often do not have a choice in whether or not they are gifted with a receipt with their transactions, a piece of the 4 million pounds of waste that these transaction records become each day.
Ninety-three percent of Americans have no choice in whether Bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, ends up in their body when handling these bits of paper.
The saturation of receipts is not a common experience around the globe; North America takes up 37 percent of the total market for thermal receipts, with a dollar amount of 1.2 billion. Europe follows closely with a dollar amount of 880 million.
The negative impact of receipt circulation goes beyond landfill real estate. According to the Clinton Global Initiative, 250 million gallons of oil, 10 million trees and one billion gallons of water go into the production of these receipts annually.
Thermal paper receipts are printed by applying heat to a reactive coating containing BPA or BPS (Bisphenol S). Both BPA and BPS are chemicals that have been linked to adverse health effects such as endocrine disruption, cancers and metabolic disorders, though the severity is disputed.
These four million pounds of waste do serve some kind of purpose before hitting the landfill. Receipts are used to record business expenses for tax reasons and reimbursements but when it comes to the average consumer, physical receipts have no practical use.
The average consumer does not need or even want every receipt from their purchases. According to a panel of Underground Cafe employees, most people don’t want a printed receipt. Because of this, as well as the environmental factors, the local coffee shop does not print them automatically.
While all businesses need receipts for transactions, restaurants also require receipts to know how many and what type of purchase the consumer made in order to fulfill the order. However, these are not tossed at the end of the day.
“Yeah, we don’t throw those away, we need those for documentation for sure,” said one employee.
And with most transactions being carried out digitally via a credit or debit card, the option for a receipt is given to the customer.
A hindrance to the viability of physical receipts in the contemporary world is sustainability. Humanity is producing more garbage than ever before.
A World Bank report estimated that 3.5 million tons are churned out daily, which is expected to double by 2025 and projected to continue growing through 2100.
Physical receipts are another member of the pollution dogpile, with absolutely no sign of slowing down. Thermal receipts cannot be recycled in a professional or personal context so the BPA and BPS they contain ends up in the soil, leaking into groundwater and making its way into plants. Receipts cannot be used in compost piles, as BPA and BPS can find its way into fruits and vegetables grown in that soil, causing or exacerbating the previously stated health effects.
The American Chemical Society Journal of Environmental Science & Technology reported 94 percent of tested receipts contain BPA or BPS, some more than 1,000 times higher than that in BPA-laden plastic food containers and water bottles. The report continued to outline the environmental impact of receipts, finding 33.5 tons of BPA have spread to the environment in the U.S. and Canada.
“BPA is known to be hazardous to human, fish and other animal reproductive systems and has been linked with obesity and attention disorders,” the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency reported. “The other commonly used chemical for thermal receipts, BPA, has been shown to have some similar effects.”
BPA has been commonly used in all sorts of products and materials since the early 20th century, though a shift is beginning. Some products use “BPA-free” as a selling point and a handful of states have banned the use of BPA altogether. These bans largely target products that may affect an infant’s health, such as bottles and sippy cups, but some states have made the leap to ban it from any food and liquid containers.
In 2006, the largest receipt paper manufacturer, Appleton Papers, claimed to no longer use BPA in their formula. Though small, any steps taken to reduce the prevalence of the unrecyclable plastics is a step toward a safer and cleaner world.
The 6420 is a student publication at Rose State College.