Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Handslap for Sigg or Business as Usual?

I had planned on finishing up another post on homeschooling or possibly an attachment parenting post that I've been fiddling with but something more important has popped up.

Last Thursday, Z Recommends posted the news that Sigg bottles, despite being promoted as a safe alternative to BPA-containing polycarbonate products does contain BPA after all.

This news has shocked many parents who feel mislead and betrayed by a company they had believed in. It has also brought to the fore the increased propaganda campaigns of certain industries regarding the safety of BPA.

(Some great resources about why BPA is bad for you and your children are here and here.)

While we own three Siggs, I've always felt that the company was disingenuous about whether or not the lining of its bottles contained BPA. It stated that the make up of its epoxy coating was proprietary information and claimed that the material was non-leeching and their bottles were heavily marketed to the growing numbers of parents switching their children's plastic cups and bottles to safer alternatives. In numerous online conversations about which bottle was best, advocates for Sigg would tout the fact that the bottles were not made in China and had wonderful designs unlike its main adversary Klean Kanteen. (At the time Klean Kanteen only offered a plain exterior, but now has powder-coated colors available. There are also numerous other makers of non-plastic or non-BPA plastic bottles on the market.)

In a thread on this subject at I posted that I would be donating our replacement bottles because I have no intention of supporting a company that would blatantly mislead their consumer base. Someone replied that they thought "trust" wasn't something you could have in a company that is looking out for their bottom line.

I understand that point of view, but see a difference in a laundry detergent marketing their product as getting grass stains out better than their competitor and a company actively marketing their product as a safe alternative to plastic bottles when they have known for years that their product contains the same chemical that is driving consumers away from their plastic counterparts.

Yes, Sigg technically did nothing wrong. They never stated that their bottles were BPA-free. However, the manner in which they marketed themselves left many people with that impression. I'm not a lawyer but I don't see that there is really a case here, though some are suggesting it. What I am, though, is a mom and a blabbermouth. Would you like to guess what I'll be talking about for the next few weeks and whenever I see someone with a Sigg bottle?

To determine if you have the older-style Sigg bottle, check the inside. If the lining is copper-colored then you have the old style. You can email for a mailing label to return your bottles and receive a code for free replacement bottles. (NOT postage paid.) Be aware that even though Sigg stopped producing the old style bottles in August 2008, Many stores still have them on the shelves. There appears to not be any notification of the change or request to pull the old style off of the shelves. The Whole Foods near me still has them on the sales floor.

If you have had any problems with the new lining, please head over to Z Recommends and leave a comment or email them. There have been a few cases of the new lining flaking off and even cutting someone drinking from the bottle!