Et Tu, Sigg Bottles?

Photo from Sigg site via fair use guidelines.

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Well, this is just peachy. Sigg, maker of re-usable metal canteens, has been using a liner that contains bisephenol A. Bisephenol A, or BPA, is one of the key reasons I switched from drinking water out of plastic bottles. BPA is an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen and does all kinds of nasty stuff to the female reproductive system. I thought that by getting a Swiss-made Sigg, which markets itself as a high-quality product produced in an “ecologically friendly environment,” I’d be reducing my BPA intake. Well, maybe not unless I bought it after August 2008 says a recent investigation published by GreenerDesign.com.

According to the article

At no point over the last few years, in the handful of conversations and email exchanges I have had with SIGG’s PR company, Truth Be Told, were my perceptions that the bottles were free from BPA corrected… In my conversation with [Sigg president] Steve Wasik, he said SIGG did not reveal the BPA information because of a non-disclosure agreement they had with their manufacturer… Yet, at the same time, SIGG began development on a new BPA-free liner back in 2006. When I asked Wasik about this contradiction, he pushed the responsibility back on to the supply chain, stating, “Our confidentiality agreement with our suppliers would not allow us to talk about the liner.”

The January 2009 press release from SIGG indicated they were creating a new line of bottles with what they called an EcoCare liner. What they did not say, and what even their PR company did not know, was the underlying reason for this change: That the original SIGGs contained BPA.

Motivated by outraged blog posts and Tweets, Sigg’s president has now posted an apology on the company site, and says the company will accept exchanges: BUT, only if you do it before the end of next month, AND you will have to pay shipping charges to their facility in New Jersey. Additionally, you may not be able to get the same color bottle you bought, as designs change yearly. Fortunately, according to GreenerDesign’s reporter, Whole Foods and some other retailers will accept your pre-2008 Sigg bottles for exchange. In keeping with Sigg’s corporate transparency policy, this fact does not appear on their site: the reporter had to get it directly from the company’s president himself.

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