First, let me say that I’m never been gaga over Sigg. I own no Sigg bottles. In fact, I’m not big on carrying water bottles around. I generally drink lots of water at home (in glasses and mugs). Hanging out at a cafe, I use their tableware. Working out at a gym, I drink from water fountains. The only time I “need” a water bottle is when traveling, hiking, or otherwise in the boonies. So, I’ve always found Sigg bottles catchy and cute, but rather expensive and not a necessary purchase.
In October, I was astounded at the outcry over Sigg’s revelation that their pre-2008 liner contained a trace amount of bisphenol A (BPA). Tests have proven that the old liners do not leach, but Sigg created a new liner to avoid any hint of contamination.
If Sigg claimed that their bottles were BPA-free, that was misleading. They should have been 100% clear. But, come on. Aren’t there bigger threats?
Why not go after investment banks, oil conglomerates, or big pharma? What about the multinational companies that manufacture in China, source of tainted pet food, infant formula, and construction materials? Shouldn’t we be concerned that Sarah Palin’s forthcoming memoir is a runaway bestseller?
As for health scandals, how come no one’s complaining about the BPA in canned goods? Shouldn’t we, like Mayor Bloomberg, go ballistic about trans fats, neatly hidden in popular supermarket crackers and cookies? And have you ever calculated the number of calories and fat in Starbucks monstrosities and movie popcorn? Why slam Sigg and then eat a tub of movie popcorn?
Sigg is such a minor offender. But it’s an easy target. And it somehow offended the green/eco types who so ardently championed the stylish Swiss-made aluminum bottle over its predecessor, the economical, everyman Nalgene.
I found out about the scandal from a close friend with a three-year-old I’ll call T. Mommy exchanged T’s old bottle (white with farm animals) for a new one (lavender with underwater flora, chosen with remarkable decisiveness by T). Okay. Stick to the safe side with kids.
Initially I was wary of the liner. I offered to exchange my boyfriend’s Sigg bottle for him, figuring that he (being a guy) would forgo the replacement offer. Me? Returns, exchanges, and customer complaints are among my specialties. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized there was nothing really wrong with the bottle.
It was barely used. It was not leaching BPA. And, by returning it to Sigg, it would end up as junk. Aluminum is recyclable but not biodegradable, although it does decompose very slowly (think 500 years for an aluminum can). Siggs are advertised as recyclable, but are they really? My city’s curbside recycling program doesn’t take them. I pictured a gargantuan mountain of discarded Siggs, once desirable, now junk.
My boyfriend’s Sigg avoided the ax.