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Environmentally Friendly Thermal Papers (DE-UZ 223)

Thermal papers are special papers and most people come across them in the form of receipts or tickets. The writing is not printed, but triggered by a chemical reaction in the paper. So far, these developer-based thermal papers have dominated the market. However, the chemical colour developers used to date are questionable from an environmental and health point of view. Bisphenol A, which until recently was the most commonly used substance, was banned for this use throughout the EU at the beginning of 2020 due to its endocrine and reproductive-toxic effects. However, alternatively used substances hardly seem to be better, but are also suspected of having human or ecotoxicological properties. Thermal papers with these colour developers should therefore not be disposed of with the waste paper, because the colour developers can then be found in the recycled paper and in the water cycle as a result of the recycling process.

The primary aim of the new eco-label is to refrain from using chemical colour developers that contain substances that are harmful to health or the environment.

For technical reasons, the use of cellulose made from primary fibres is necessary for thermal papers, since the paper involved is very thin and requires high tensile strength or tear strength. The raw materials obtained from waste paper do not currently meet these quality targets. The Blue Angel therefore ensures that the fibres come from sustainably managed forests. The removal of wood from forests that are particularly worthy of protection, such as tropical or boreal primeval forests, is not accepted.

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