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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

4 BPA Free Water Bottle Alternatives to Sigg

Last week I logged onto the 3 Green Angels #ecowed back to school Twitter party. The subject of BPA free water bottles came up. So did Sigg’s announcement that the linings of their aluminum reusable water bottles made before August 2008 have a lining that contains bisphenol A (BPA). There were a lot of upset green moms who own Sigg water bottles that evening.

Now it’s getting worse.

So what’s the big deal?

Aluminum bottles and cans must be coated with some sort of epoxy liner in order to be food safe. Some of these liners can contain BPA.

Prior to August 2009 (as in just a few weeks ago) when customers have asked Sigg if the liners in their aluminum water bottles contained BPA, Sigg danced around the issue saying that they couldn’t give specifics because their liner formula is top secret and proprietary. What Sigg would say is that their pre-August 2008 Sigg bottle liners were tested by a third party and did not leach BPA. To make current matters worse, according to The Daily Green , “It's been known for a while now that SIGG goes after any consumer group (EWG, OCA etc.) that infers their "proprietary" liner content contains BPA.“

Hmmm…so I guess that means the liners are OK, right? Wrong.

Once Sigg started producing and marketing water bottles using the new EcoCare BPA free liner in August 2008, their CEO wrote in a letter on the Sigg Website dated August 2009,“Prior to its transition, SIGG utilized a water-based epoxy liner which contained a trace amount of BPA.”

Trace amount doesn’t sound like much. It could be a little, it could be way too much. We don’t know. The old liner formula is proprietary and Sigg said they can’t reveal its contents, remember?

If you are one of those people who bought an expensive Sigg bottle thinking that since Sigg assured you, their customer, that their bottles have a leach free liner and led you to believe that it has a BPA free water bottle; I can see why Sigg customers might be feeling a little deceived right now. Or maybe you’re only feeling a trace amount of deception? Especially when it’s still possible to purchase a new Sigg bottle with the old liner.


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Photo courtesy of Sigg
4 BPA Free Water Bottle Alternatives

If you want to avoid this whole mess altogether – what do you do? Are there any BPA free alternatives out there? Yes there are, try these:

1. Water glass. A glass works just as well as a water bottle if you’re hanging out at home or working at a desk in an office. In fact, I have one right now on my desk, as I type.

2. Stainless Steel water bottle. Stainless steel water bottles do not need a liner. Double check the label or tag on the bottle to verify that the bottle is made from stainless steel before you buy it. Personally this is what I use to avoid dealing with aluminum bottles and their liners.

3. BPA free plastic water bottle. Again, don’t assume that since it’s a new plastic bottle for sale that it doesn’t contain BPA. Check that the label specifically says that the plastic is BPA free or look for a recycling symbol on the bottle. The safer BPA free choices for food and beverages are #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene) and #5 PP (polypropylene.) I also use BPA free plastic water bottles for sports when appropriate, for example when I go cycling.

4. Glass water bottle. You can buy a reusable glass water bottle or do it on the cheap by washing out and reusing a glass juice bottle with a screw on cap. Being a klutz I balked at this idea until I realized how many glass jars and bottles I already use and drink out of regularly (jelly, salsa, juice, beer, wine, etc.) without breakage or incident.

Do you use a reusable aluminum water bottle? What do you think of the Sigg liner controversy? What do you think should Sigg do to win back these dissatisfied customers?