Bisphenol A's Impact on the Promotional Items Industry

7 Aug

water bottlesThis is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of ProformaGreen, an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy. John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.

Everyone knows that the plastic bottles for packaged water are bad for the environment and bad for your health. The promotional items industry knew this as well and seized on this to promote the reusable plastic bottles ubiquitous in gyms and office promotions.

Water bottles became big business for us. Then came the Bisphenol A scare.

Overnight plastic bottles were out. If you are in the business of promotions and brand management it really did not matter if the plastic water bottle your client had purchased in the past was made with Bisphenol A or not. All water bottles got painted with the same brush.

So what happened?

Well basically overnight, and industry wide, the plastic water bottle orders became steel or aluminum water bottle orders. And then – due to the rush, the tragic earthquake in China which was one of the main manufacturing areas for these items, and basic distribution issues – the aluminum water bottles sold out.

We had often sold Bulletline’s 21 ounce light-weight aluminum Mojave Sports Bottle for around $4 with single color imprint. It is a industry favorite. I could not locate these things anywhere.

At one point I actually contacted SIGG corporate sales to fill a promo order for a client. We needed 600 units – unbranded. Even SIGG could not help us at that quantity. Seriously. It seemed you could not locate an aluminum bottle for promotional uses in the U.S. for over a month, and now the inventories are still small because the demand is so high.

Businesses must protect their brand. Whether they are green-washing or truly sincere in their efforts to be better corporate citizens, they are paying attention. The push back is becoming too great for them not to be.

I think that is a good thing for us all.

John Simonetta

Related Posts about BPA In Products and Packaging :

Boxing in Green Wine

Life Goggles: SIGG Aluminum Water Bottle Product Review

Canned Food and BPA

11 Responses to “Bisphenol A's Impact on the Promotional Items Industry”

  1. Darrell August 7, 2008 at 12:31 PM #

    What about the BPA released from denture plastic when it is heated by a short cigar?

  2. John Simonetta August 9, 2008 at 12:07 PM #

    You can see a video on Bisphenol A free water bottles on you tube at

    FYI, this is a sales pitch.

  3. don August 9, 2008 at 12:44 PM #

    I read about Wal-Mart getting rid of plastic products with bisphenol-a, and now this about the prmotional industry doing the same. All this activity is responding to consumer “demand,” which is based on news reports.

    However, I understand that both the EPA and the EU’s Food Safety Authority have stated repeatedly (the EU group as recently as last month) that bisphenol-a in plastics isn’t harmful.

    Why are people believing news reports saying that bisphenol is harmful, rather than believing repeated scientific studies saying the opposite and backed by the authority of the US Government and the European Union government? Are the governments so utterly corrupt as to be unable to tell the truth? Or, Is science truth truly so relative, that you can believe whatever you want?

  4. Darrell August 9, 2008 at 5:37 PM #

    Here is something that is cute in a wicked sort of way. Those people who were talked into having their silver fillings removed by cosmetic dentists because of mercury poisoning, had them replaced with composite, tooth-colored fillings. Guess what. Composites leach BPA. Is that not rich?

    I’d ask for my money back.

  5. promotional items and gift August 14, 2008 at 6:55 PM #

    I agree

  6. John Simonetta August 21, 2008 at 6:55 AM #

    Attached is an industry release on BPA bottles. Not sure if this is going to help perceptions any ~ JS

    FDA Says BPA In Plastic Bottles Is Safe

    The chemical bisphenol A (BPA) that is found in plastic water bottles, baby bottles, canned food and other products is safe, according to a new report from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released on Friday. The study found that the trace amounts of the chemical that leech into food and liquid are not dangerous to adults or infants, though the FDA did leave open the need for further testing. Stan Breckenridge, senior vice president of Moderne Glass Co. Inc. (asi/71920), which created a BPA-free kit of five different bottle styles in reaction to safety concerns, hopes the new report will finally clear the air. “I think it alleviates the paranoia that was caused by the sensationalized news reports,” he says. “I think it instills consumer confidence back into the products. The FDA in my opinion is as credible a source as it gets and we stand behind.”

    The new FDA report was prompted by the findings by the National Toxicology Program that found “some concern” about BPA effects on infants. The report was picked up by the Today Show in April, kicking off a wave of concern among consumers and the industry as to the safety of certain plastic bottles made with BPA. Industry suppliers denied there were any safety concerns, calling them overblown, but many began offering BPA-free bottles to worried distributors.

    One of those suppliers was Garyline (asi/55990), a domestic manufacturer which stopped offering water bottles made with BPA altogether and shed any it had in its inventory. “Knowing the regulations and testing it went through, I felt BPA was safe,” says Garry Hellinger, CEO. “But after hearing the Today Show, the people we sell to and their clients became extremely concerned. So we had to go along with what customers were asking us. It was good that the FDA did the new study. It might eliminate some litigious people. We’re just going along with what our customers feel is important to them. Our customers are who run our business and I think we all know that.”

    How the new report will affect California’s proposed bill requiring that all products or food containers used by children three years and younger contain only trace amounts of BPA is still to be determined. The measure has been passed by the state senate and is awaiting a vote in the assembly. No matter how the vote goes, the damage may already be done to any products that contain BPA, says Breckenridge. “I just did a show and the people weren’t aware of the finding of the FDA. They were only aware of the original report and had an alarmist attitude. I hope that California sees the recent findings and realizes we don’t need another regulation that would proliferate.”

  7. Darrell August 23, 2008 at 7:28 AM #

    “Maximize your site’s revenue potential with contextually targeted ads.” – an advertisement for Google AdSense

    I think to understand what powers toxicity crises, whether it is fluoride in water, mercury in fillings or BPA in baby bottles, one must look at who is in position to catch windfall profits. I suspect that editors of Websites which receive revenue from Google are tempted to approve stories about the BPA crisis to enhance corporate profits – now that they can no longer be held accountable for ethics violations.

    I suspect that stories are sometimes posted not for their newsworthiness, but for their AdSensitive context. I think that fuels crises. DK Pruitt


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  4. FDA Under Fire for Loose BPA Restrictions - Green News - June 27, 2009

    […] Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in can linings and hard plastics. It’s been around for a while and is widely used. And chances are, you have it in your system as we speak. With such common usage of the chemical, what are people making such a fuss about? […]

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