ABOUT THE FILM
Don't Take That Receipt! is a 3 minute comedic video about the toxicant BPA in cash register receipts. The main character, a woman shopping in a grocery store, becomes increasingly concerned about BPA exposure as her surroundings start interacting with her.
This film as produced in collaboration with the Transformative Culture Project, which trains and employs youth to create impacting media about important issues. With generous funding from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute we developed this project to educate the public about BPA and how to reduce exposure from receipts. From our Western Massachusetts branch we formed a team of two adults – a Project Director and an Artistic Director - and four Youth Producers from Holyoke. Together our team wrote, produced, filmed, and edited this video. We partnered with two BPA experts as our science partners: Dr Laura Vandenberg, Researcher and Professor at UMass Amherst and Madalyn Cioci, Principle Environmental Specialist at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (see below). We are now running an extensive online and in-person outreach campaign to promote healthy behavior changes for customers, cashiers, and store managers. We are also promoting systemic change by encouraging storeowners to switch to phenol-free receipt paper, or better yet, to do away with paper receipts all together and make the switch to electronic receipts.
Our Science Partners
Dr. Laura Vandenberg has studied and published on the effects of endocrine disruptors, including BPA, in critical developmental windows. She served as our local scholar advisor to the project, educating our team and insuring that the content of the film is relevant and scientifically correct. The data from her recently published observational study directly informed our script, in which she and her team documented the sometimes surprising ways that consumers (mis)use receipts, and that consumers hold on to receipts for longer amounts of times than was assumed by the industry.
Madalyn Cioci and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency MPCA have done extensive data-driven research on BPA in cash register receipts under a federal EPA grant. They have written and educated extensively on BPA in receipts and their website is a hub of scientifically referenced information as well as solutions for reducing BPA exposure from receipts. Ciocci’s work and concerns about this toxic substance stem from the fact that the amount of BPA in thermal paper is proportionally very large.
Joy Onasch of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute oversees business and industry at TURI and provided crucial information, support, and feedback throughout this project. Special thank you also to Maria Scholl of TURI for her support along the way through this granting process.
Location and Actors
The River Valley Market in Northampton, MA generously donated their cooperative grocery store space for three nights to film this video.
Thanks to our funding from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute we were able to hire and pay local actors from Western Massachusetts to star in this film. Our casting call was organized in partnership with our Youth Producers.