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Why, oh why is there plastic in my aluminum water bottle?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

By Lisa Frack

Not so long ago, many of us were happily - and possibly a little smugly - sipping water from our reusable aluminum water bottles. Including my kids (such cute designs, right?).

Until, that is, we learned that Sigg and Gaiam bottles weren't exactly the BPA-free solution we had spent all that money on.

Naturally we rushed to dump them, exchange them, find something safer (and preferably cheaper!). And we heard the understandable question that rang throughout consumerland:

Why, oh why is there plastic in my aluminum water bottle?

At EWG we know (and knew) that all reusable aluminum water bottles are lined - because no-one likes to drink straight from aluminum. It just doesn't taste right. In fact, we even suggested that people go with stainless steel instead to avoid the plastic liner - which we suspected might contain BPA.

Why?

Because that plastic liner happens to be an epoxy resin liner, whose "key building block," according to the American Chemistry Council, is (you guessed it) BPA. And stainless steel doesn't need one; unscrew that Klean Kanteen and what do you see inside? More stainless steel. See for yourself how the bottles are made Check out this excellent "how it's made" video - it'll take you all the way from aluminum "puck" to epoxy resin liner (kids welcome, it's educational). Courtesy of Sigg (they should know).

Now you know. For the many people who aren't immersed in the science of chemicals and human health, as we are, it simply didn't cross their minds that their metal water bottle was also plastic.

Just as it still hasn't crossed many people's minds that their metal food cans are lined with plastic (yes, there's BPA in that, too). Because we're busy. We just want to eat the food and drink the water, already. [Thanks to Flickr CC & EthanPDX for the perfect pic]

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