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SIGG: not so super, afterall?

We’ve been using Sigg bottles for ages. And that really says something, since we don’t spend our money lightly on fads. We’re talking $30 for a water bottle to put in a child’s lunch box. When there’s a plastic alternative that’s less than $5, we’ve clearly drawn a line in the sand.

Why? It’s enviro-friendly not to be constantly purchasing plastic water bottles all the time. Sigg bottles are also extremely tough and survive even the worst treatment — from my husband’s camping trips to the disaster that is the back of my car. And last but not least, we didn’t want any chemicals to be leaching into the water we drink.

Naturally, then, I was surprised to find that the inner liner of my Sigg bottles contained BPA. Thinking back now, I can’t actually recall ever reading that Sigg didn’t contain BPA, but I had somehow linked the Sigg brand with safety.

Sigg is now fighting the PR battle of its life. And it all started with a proud announcement that it had developed a new liner — the EcoCare liner — which is apparently 100% BPA-free. This caused many existing customers who’d been using the older models to step back in alarm: “Huh? That means my old liner was not 100% BPA-free?” (Here is the letter from Sigg’s CEO explaining the whole mess.)

Yep, that’s right. Sigg may not be so super, afterall. I’ve recommended these bottles to countless friends. And frankly, the levels of BPA potentially present from the old liners is hardly anything to worry about. (Here is an independent study on BPA levels, published by Z Recommends.) But still … I feel like I was duped and I feel silly for pushing these pricey bottles on my friends.

Sigg is now voluntarily replacing (note: this is not a recall) customers’ old bottles for ones with the new liners. If you’d like to send yours back, go online to www.mysigg.com/liner and click on the menu item “Exchange Program.” Be sure to download the shipping label for Canadian customers.

Naturally, there are many who will refuse to use Sigg products again. They’ve simply lost trust in this brand. If you fall in this boat, here is a comprehensive review of alternative BPA-free bottles for you to choose from.

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Comments

  1. I heard about this mess over the weekend. Your comment about customers losing trust in the brand is bang on and leaves SIGG with a long uphill battle towards regaining consumer confidence. There are tons of other players in the bottle game, why choose someone who has misled you in the past? This is SIGG’s challenge. Good luck.

    Plus, SIGG’s error has had a direct impact on people’s children. As parents, we can be forgiving when something impacts us and we can choose to weigh the risks to our own health. But when faced with a decision that impacts our kids, few people – if anyone – will choose leniency and forgiveness.

    I don’t own a SIGG bottle, but I do own many BPA free plastic sippy cups, spoons and other misc. items. If I found out one that was touted as being BPA free had traces in it, it would immediately go in the trash and it would be a long time before I ever bought anything from that manufacturer again.

    Somebody should give SIGG’s PR people the number to Maple Leaf’s PR people… I’m sure they’ll have loads to talk about.

  2. I read the CEO’s letter about this issue, and he claims that SIGG wasn’t trying to withhold information; they never claimed to be BPA in the first place so when they made the change to be BPA-free, they didn’t see a strong need to advertise the change.

    Was this announcement skipped to avoid the current situation? Maybe…

    The return form says they’ll contact me to “arrange the exchange”. Do you know if that means they still don’t know how we’ll get our new bottles? It does sound like we’ll have to pick the new bottles up at some store in town.

  3. Well, scheiss. Now I’m going to have to check out my water bottle. It’s not a Sigg, but who’s to say the others aren’t in the same boat? I’m getting so very, very sick and tired of being duped by everyone.

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