Thursday, September 3, 2009

BPA is not just in baby bottles: Ditch your SIGG for stainless steel bottles

About 5 years ago I traded in my Nalgene bottles for the cute and slender SIGG reusable drinking bottle. Then there was the controversy about the harmful plastics in Nalgene bottles leaching into the water. I smugly swigged from my SIGG and thought myself superior for making the switch. That is until last week, when SIGG announced that any of its bottles made prior to August 2008 contained BPA in the liner. Turns out that aluminum leaches baddies into your water too, so the bottles were coated in a liner containing BPA. Oops, BPA also leaches baddies into your water! The worst part is that SIGG kept the contents of its liners secret for proprietary reasons, while at the same time ensuring the public that the bottles were perfectly safe (read more at The Soft Landing). The slew of legislation currently taking place all over the US to ban BPA in baby products finally forced SIGG to admit to BPA in their bottles. Did I mention that SIGG also makes sippy cups? Or that I have been drinking out of their bottles for years? Or that I drank from my SIGG bottles throughout my pregnancy and while breast feeding? Actually, I drank out of them right up until last week! So glad I give Pooka BPA free bottles and teethers but expose her to it in my breast milk. Shame on you SIGG!

But fear not, there are plenty of fabulous options for replacing your old SIGG bottles. First stop, The Soft Landing. This site is dedicated to anything and everything BPA free. I have order great teethers, toys, and bottles. They even have a section for pets. They are running a great program right now if you have some SIGG bottles lying around: The Bigg Bottle Swap. Ship them your SIGG and they will recycle your bottle and give you a 30% discount on a new stainless steel bottle from their site. If you don't have a SIGG you can still register and receive 20% off a purchase.

But what bottle should you choose? There are plenty of options out there in plain old stainless steel, which appears to be the safest material at the moment. Kleen Kanteen has a wide range of bottles in all different sizes. You can choose from 6 different top styles, including an Avent sippy cup top to use with the smaller bottles in the range. I use a 18 oz pink bottle that fits perfectly in my stroller cup holder. Missing the cute graphics on your old SIGG bottle? Try a U-Turn 2 Tap bottle. The only come in 27 oz, but have beautiful illustrations by Laguna Beach artist Shane Towley. I have the green "Hope" bottle and find it to be the perfect size for car trips. Finally, if you want an insulated bottle to keep your beverages hot or cold I like the bottles from ThinkSport. They come in two sizes and incorporate a mesh screen to keep ice or loose tea leaves from clogging the drinking spout. I think I may have to get one of these for my husband to replace his SIGG hot beverage mug.

While new SIGG bottles are being produced without BPA in the liners, they have lost me as a customer. The SIGG CEO recently released an apology statement and they have instituted an exchange program to replace your old bottle with a new BPA free bottle. I think the most ironic part of this issue is that we buy things like SIGG bottles to try to lessen our impact on the environment and we end up hurting ourselves. Sometimes it feels like you really can't win, but I still want to keep trying!

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