Thoughts on the Sigg Recall

My Sigg: the FlightA favorite of the green movement, Sigg bottles are reusable aluminum water bottles with snazzy designs that are marketed in three ways:

 Reducing single-use plastic water bottle/cup waste (my Sigg has served me for over a year so far and eliminated my 1 plastic water bottle a week habit).

Reducing exposure to toxins present in plastic water bottles (reusable and otherwise) such as BPA, an endocrine disruptor leached from some plastics (#7 and #3).

Reducing the unpleasant plasticky or metallic taste associated with other resuable bottles.

Recently the news leaked that older Siggs, with their coppery baked-on liner, contain trace amounts of non-leaching BPA. Greenies shrieked in horror and dismay and rushed to Whole Foods to exchange their older Siggs for free shiny new non-BPA replacements.

Hang on a sec. Shiny. New. Green? Those words don’t belong in the same line.

As I understand it, the core value of the green movement is to reduce, reuse, and recycle. I can imagine that you’d be upset if you bought a Sigg primarily because you were looking for a non-BPA bottle. But if you bought yours, as I did, on the grounds that you wanted to stop being a part of the casual waste of resources, I think you’re being a little hypocritical in relinquishing your non-leaching bottle so readily. Even though Siggs are completely recyclable, recycling should be the last step. Reusing and reducing always come first.

There are plenty of good reasons to replace your Sigg. Siggs dent quite readily and a severe dent can actually mess up the inside liner and make them unsafe to drink from. If you’ve had and used your Sigg for over a year, and it no longer closes well or has other functionality issues, you might be justified in replacing it.

However, to replace your Sigg just because it has trace amounts of non-leaching BPA seems silly to me. You’re exposed to a lot more BPA in canned food. You are probably exposed to more endocrine-disrupting toxins just stepping outside for a walk. Heck, you probably apply them personally to your skin, hair, or teeth every day. On the day in which we have reduced our daily exposure to toxins to basically nil, then you’re entitled to be upset about being subjected to trace amounts of non-leaching BPA. Don’t hold your breath.

My Sigg is red, with a design of a gnarled tree and a bird taking flight. It has two substantial dents from when my car door closed on it.  (Yes, I know…I have a car…) Despite the aesthetic imperfection, it works perfectly.  Water from it tastes like water, not like plastic, not like metal. It goes everywhere with me. 

Replace it with a free one? No way. You can take my Sigg with its non-leaching-trace-amounts-of-BPA-liner out of my cold, dead hands.


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