Washington State to Outlaw Bisphenols in Paper Receipts

The State of Washington has voted to outlaw Bisphenols, commonly called BPA and BPS, effective January 1, 2025.

This is the announcement of the change.  CLICK HERE

You will notice that this affects many industries.

In addition to the change in law, the state is assisting with some of the transition costs associated with the ruling.  Specifically to the thermal paper market, what is not included is the significant increase in raw material costs that will be passed on to businesses and consumers.  You can CLICK HERE for the link to the state-supported assistance.


If you have questions or concerns, please contact Brandon Kent, Vice President of Telemark Diversified Graphics at bkent@telemarkcorp.com

Find the Perfect Thermal Printer Paper for Your Needs

Numerous individuals are searching for thermal printer paper but need to know how to choose the best paper. With so many different varieties and specifications available, it can seem overwhelming when trying to decide which type is best suited to your needs.

In this blog, we’ll cover everything from what thermal printer paper is used for and the types of paper available, how much you should expect to pay, and our top tips for getting the best value for money. By the end of this blog, you’ll be armed with all the information needed to make the perfect decision.


What is Thermal Printing Paper?

Thermal paper is a type of paper that changes color when heat is applied to it. It is made using heat-sensitive dyes and developers. The manufacturing process of thermal paper varies depending on the manufacturer, but they all follow similar processing methods.

Thermal paper starts with a base paper made of wood pulp. The precoat, a chemical used to prime it after that, fills up any gaps between the paper fibers. This makes the printing surface smooth and even.

The thermal coat is a chemical mixture that both absorbs and stabilizes activated dyes while preventing the melted dye from accumulating on the print head. It changes colors when exposed to heat.

Thermal paper usually comprises three layers:

  • Firstly, the substrate layer refers to the label material itself.
  • Secondly, the base layer holds binding elements consisting of gelatin and salts, which helps the heat to pass through the paper.
  • Lastly, the active layer contains the chemicals that react to heat.


Types of Thermal Paper

There are two main types of thermal paper available.

  • Direct Thermal Paper: Direct thermal paper is a type of paper that has a heat-sensitive coating on one side. When this coating is exposed to heat from a thermal printhead, it changes color. This type of paper is typically used for printing receipts and labels, especially when low cost and high speed are important considerations. 
  • Thermal Transfer Paper: You need a thermal transfer ribbon to get a clear and durable print on thermal transfer paper. This ribbon contains wax- or resin-based ink that is melted onto the paper using a thermal printhead. People often use thermal transfer paper in applications with harsh conditions.


What to Look for When Selecting a Thermal Printer Paper?

If you use the correct paper, the thermal printers will work better than expected. However, using the right paper can prevent them from failing. The below-mentioned points will assist you in selecting the appropriate paper.

  • Dimensions – It is important to know the size capacity of your printer to choose the correct thermal paper rolls. While some printers can handle various paper sizes, most only work with one size. Size refers to paper width and core size, roll length, and compatible roll diameter. While the length may vary slightly, core size and roll diameter must be precise.
  • Thermal Sensitivity – Thermal printer paper normally comes in two heat-sensitive varieties: low-sensitive and highly-sensitive. To determine which one to use, consider your printer’s heat capacity. If your printer emits high heat, using low-sensitivity paper is best. If it emits low heat, you should use high-sensitivity paper.
  • Paper Quality – If you only need standard quality thermal paper, choosing a good brand will suffice since there is minimal variation. However, if you require larger paper sizes or higher-quality prints, you should consider the thickness of the paper.
  • Top-Coating – Top-coat is a quality parameter for thermal printer paper. Premium paper usually has it, while the standard paper doesn’t. However, some manufacturers allow customization. The top coat offers extra protection for printed material by acting as a barrier against environmental factors such as moisture and heat.
  • Archivability – If you plan to keep documents for a long time, choose durable paper that can withstand heat, moisture, and environmental damage. Although a top coat can help, it’s important to check the archiving rating of the thermal paper rolls.
  • Heat Resistance – Although thermal paper is known for its ability to withstand heat, it’s important to choose the right kind for your needs. Thermal paper can turn black and loose printed characters if exposed to extreme temperatures. Consider purchasing heat-resistant thermal paper rolls from your supplier to avoid this issue. These rolls are designed specifically to withstand heat and ultraviolet light. Ask your thermal paper supplier about their heat-resistant options if you need this kind of paper.
  • Quantity – People often need to pay more attention to the quantity they purchase when buying thermal paper rolls. Although the quantity does not affect the quality directly, it is essential for the shelf life of the paper. For example, if you buy in bulk and intend to store the rolls longer, you must ensure proper environmental control. If you cannot control the environment, you should invest in higher-quality thermal paper rolls that can withstand heat, temperature, and other environmental factors over an extended period. Otherwise, the paper may degrade before you can use it.
  • Price – The thermal paper is the most important factor to consider when making your selection. Adding safety coats, environmental resistance, or other features can increase the cost. Although these added features can be beneficial, they may not be necessary if you have a limited budget. Whether to include these features will depend on your investment capacity and work requirements.


Applications of Thermal Printing Paper

Thermal paper has various applications across different fields. These include:

  • Receipt Printing: Thermal paper is commonly used by point-of-sale (POS) systems to print receipts.
  • Label Printing: Thermal paper is not only used for printing receipts but also for printing labels on products, shipping items, and price tags.
  • Barcode Printing: Printing barcodes on thermal paper produces high-quality prints with clear and sharp images, making it an ideal choice.
  • Product Labeling: Thermal paper is used to print labels for different industries such as retail, hospitality, and healthcare.
  • Mobile Printing: Printing while on the go is made more convenient by mobile printers that also use thermal paper.
  • Logistics: The transport and logistics industry uses thermal paper for printing shipping labels, invoices, and waybills.



Printer paper is an important part of every business. Making sure that you have the right type of thermal paper for your needs is essential for producing quality prints and seamless operations. Thermal printing paper serves a wide range of applications and can be used in various settings and environments, making them perfect for whatever business you might operate.

When choosing a thermal printer paper, remember the considerations mentioned in this blog post – dimensions, quality, coatings, and price – to land on the best one suited for your operations. If you are looking for top-quality thermal printer paper, contact Telemark Diversified Graphics.




Q. Which factors should be considered when choosing a thermal printing paper?

Dimensions, thermal sensitivity, price, paper quality, and top coating are some factors you should consider when choosing thermal printing paper that meets your requirements.

Q. Mention the main types of thermal paper.

There are two main types of thermal paper: direct thermal paper and thermal transfer paper.

Q. What are the common applications of thermal printing paper?

Thermal paper is used in different fields, such as product labeling, mobile printing, transportation and logistics, and printing receipts and labels.

Make the Right Choice for Your Business: Carbonless vs. Thermal Receipt Paper

When it comes to providing receipts for customers and keeping track of your business finances, there are two main options: carbonless or thermal. But how do you know which type of receipt paper best suits the needs of your business?

Here, we’ll break down the key differences between these two popular types of receipt paper and help you make an informed decision that aligns with your budget and practical considerations. Read on to discover whether carbonless or thermal is right for you.


What is Thermal Paper & How Does it Work?

Thermal paper is a commonly used type of receipt paper. This specialized fine paper works best with thermal printers, cash registers, and credit card terminals. Unlike traditional bond paper, it is coated with chemicals and dye.

The paper is prone to alterations when it’s subjected to heat due to its chemical composition. The chemical makeup consists of four types:

  • Leuco dyes
  • Developers
  • Sensitizers
  • Stabilizers

This paper doesn’t require costly ink or cartridges for printing. It also has a brighter sheen compared to bond papers.

Thermal papers often have a protective coating to prevent the thermal image from fading easily. This coating is advantageous because thermal papers are frequently exposed to UV lights, water, oils, grease, and other substances. Additionally, the coating reduces print head wear, which improves durability.


What is Carbonless Paper?

The purpose of carbonless copy paper or No Carbon Required (NCR) is to eliminate the use of carbon paper when making several copies of a document.

Carbonless paper, created by chemists Lowell Schleicher and Barry Green, enables the creation of multiple copies with minimal pressure. The paper is coated with two types of chemicals, Coated Front (CF) and Coated Back (CB), which are stored in small capsules that release when pressure from a pen or printer is applied.

In the past, people used carbon paper to make multiple copies of a receipt. They would place a sheet of carbon paper between two regular sheets. This was called “carbon interleaving.” However, there were some difficulties with this process despite its effectiveness, such as:

  • Carbon paper can be messy and may leave marks on your hands and soil on other surfaces that you touch.
  • Writing a receipt on carbon paper can pose a security risk as the imprints of the information are left on the paper. If the carbon paper is not properly discarded, someone may be able to retrieve it and potentially read the details.


Carbonless vs. Thermal Receipt Paper

Here are some important differences between thermal receipt paper and carbonless paper:

  • Printer – Thermal papers can only be used with thermal printers, while carbonless papers are usually compatible with Impact Printers.
  • Coating – Thermal papers usually come with a protective coating to prevent thermal image fading. The carbonless paper has two chemicals (Coated Front and Coated Back) stored in small capsules. These chemicals get released when there is pressure from a pen or printer applied.
  • Ribbons – The first page of carbonless receipt paper has a high-quality print due to the use of a traditional printing ribbon, and the pressure applied on the first sheet causes an image to appear on the subsequent pages. There is no requirement for a ribbon in thermal paper.
  • Paper Surface Color – Carbonless printer paper has three different surface color options: white, pink, and canary. In contrast, only a white option is available for thermal paper.
  • Print-Out Image Color – In thermal paper, the print-out image color is black. However, in carbonless paper, it can be blue or black, depending on the ribbon’s color.


Which Paper is Best for Your Business?

As a business, it’s crucial to have receipts. Although digital receipts are gaining popularity, paper receipts are still essential for in-person transactions or physical stores. To ensure accuracy and quality, picking the appropriate receipt paper is key.

Both carbonless and thermal receipt papers are great quality options. While thermal paper may be more cost-effective in the long run because it does not require a ribbon, both types of paper utilize chemical reactions and coatings. Although thermal paper rolls are more commonly used, wood-free or carbonless paper is worth considering if you believe it would be a better fit for your business.


Third Type of Receipt Paper – Traditional Bond Paper

Wood-free paper, also known as bond paper or non-thermal paper, is commonly used in offices for printing documents. The paper’s size varies depending on the document type being printed, but the popular size is A4. It is important to note that wood-free or bond paper is only suitable for traditional ink or cartridges printing.

Comparing bond paper and thermal paper side by side, one can easily notice the difference in their surfaces. Unlike thermal paper, bond paper doesn’t have a coating on either side, which makes its surface less bright and smooth.

It can only be used with thermal transfer printers that utilize ribbons to generate texts and images. Though, it’s important to note that using bond paper for printing receipts is not cost-effective due to the need to replace costly ink cartridges frequently.



The choice between carbonless paper and thermal paper is made according to individual needs, budgets, and preferences. The decision should be based on the anticipated amount of printing needed and what functions the receipt will serve. For higher quantity printing needs combined with sharp image longevity, the thermal paper continues to be the leading solution for commercial printers.

Traditional bond paper has also become an increasingly popular solution for print shops needing to produce reasonable quantities of printing for shorter-term use cases. Ultimately, knowing what your business needs before making a decision is important – which can only be done by taking a closer look at each option. If you are considering purchasing thermal paper, reach out to Telemark Diversified Graphics – they carry a broad range of products designed to meet your requirements.




Q. What is carbonless receipt paper?

Carbonless paper allows for making multiple copies with low pressure. It has two types of chemicals, Coated Front (CF) and Coated Back (CB), that are stored in tiny capsules. When you apply pressure from a pen or printer, the capsules release the chemicals.


Q. How many different surface color options are available in carbonless paper and thermal paper?

Carbonless printer paper has three surface color options: white, pink, and canary. However, only the color white is available for thermal paper.


Q. What are the benefits of the coating present in thermal paper?

Thermal papers usually have a protective coating to prevent thermal images from fading easily. This is useful because thermal papers are often exposed to UV lights, water, oils, and grease, among other substances. Moreover, the coating reduces print head wear, which increases durability.


Q. Which is the third type of receipt paper, apart from carbonless and thermal paper?

Traditional bond paper, also known as wood-free paper, is the third type of receipt paper. It’s essential to keep in mind that bond paper is only compatible with standard printing that involves ink or cartridges. Moreover, thermal transfer printers that use ribbons are the only printers that can be used to print text or images on bond paper.

What Would a Railroad Stike Mean to the Paper and Print Industry?

The national news outlets have been reporting on a potential strike by the railroad unions, which will be based on a deadline of September 16, 12:01AM.

We have already seen a slowdown in Amtrak Passenger services and routes. Amtrak is not part of this union, but it does use the Rails that are controlled by the Railroad union. Currently, Certain commodities with short shelf life and hazardous materials are being diverted to our highways, to avoid the possibility of being stranded on the tracks in an unknown destination.

What could this mean for the print and paper industry?

Many LTL carriers use some sort of rail services. Between 30% and 40% of all Over the Road Shipments (OTR) use rail. We have all experienced driver shortages that have led to missed pick-up and delivery dates. Now imagine 30-40% more cargo pushed into the Trucking pipeline. This would lead to an extended period of delays in both pick-up and delivery as the freight industry can not manage this about of volume increase, in such a short period of time.

The second significant effect will be the increase in freight pricing that will be justified by the high demand, low supply model. This is at the same time we are already experiencing record high freight costs for the same reason as well as the high fuel costs.

I know we all experience the net result of freight costs at the grocery store. Nationally we are seeing upwards of a 17% increase in food costs currently. I cannot imagine what this amount will be if this strike happens.

In summary, be prepared for increased freight costs and shipment delays, should the railroad union vote in favor of a strike.

For comments or concerns, contact Brandon Kent at bkent@telemarkcorp.com

****As of today, 9/15/22, it appears that we will be spared the repercussions of a rail strike!