Monday, April 21, 2008

Nalgene Bottles, Bisphenol A and REI

It has become hard to avoid the news over Bisphenol A (BPA) lately (here, here, here and many, many more). As an avid water drinker — in addition to beer, of course! — I have sworn off plastic disposable water bottles for a while now and mainly used my trusty Nalgene water bottles. Made of lexan (polycarbonate) it is nearly indestructible and was always with me on hikes.

No more Nalgene bottles for me, however. With the recent news of Bisphenol A, I swore off my old-school Nalgene bottles (at last count, I think we had 6 of various forms in the house) and went to REI to buy a new bisphenol A free water bottle. Here's where things get interesting: REI has voluntarily removed all bottles containing BPA from their shelves! According to their staff they are only selling BPA free bottles, predominantly from CamelBack. Cool, nice job REI, I'm glad to see you out ahead of this issue.

But wait, there's more! If you bought any BPA containing bottles from REI under an REI membership, you can return them for a full refund! Sadly, many of my bottles predate my membership, but at least one bottle is being returned for a refund. Two more bottles, neither of which appear on my membership purchasing history, have REI labels printed on the bottle, so I hope to return these as well so I can replace them with new BPA free bottles.

REI, once again, you prove what a great company you are. Your customer friendly policies will have me coming back and paying (sometimes) high prices again and again.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post about REI. I have been wanting to return my Nalgene bottles (all of which I bought at REI) but thought I would need to show receipts to take advantage of REI's generous return policy. It's good to know that they can just look up my purchase history. (Maybe I can also return the daypack I bought in 2000 and never used? The tags are still attached.)

dhs said...

The bottles need to have been purchased under your REI membership card to qualify for returns. I actually had 2 bottles with an REI logo on them that they also returned for a full refund.

Kristen said...

It's crazy to think that all this time we have been exposed to BPA but until this recent spur in interest over it, it was brushed under the rug. Our lives are consumed by BPA. It is in fillings in our teeth, it lines the metal in our canned foods, and in our plastic food containers. It is scary to know that BPA is found in most baby bottles and sippy cups. There are many new companies coming out with BPA free bottles though.

As far as plastic drinking bottles for adults go, Camelbak has always been BPA free and Nalgene and REI are coming out with BPA-free lines, too.

dhs said...


CamelBack products were not BPA free when they used Lexan (polycarbonate), hence why they are now pushing *hard* on their new BPA free line. In fact, if you read the fine print closely, you'll see that the sippy bottles are still not BPA free until sometime in May 2008. Baby bottles - something I know a bit about these days - are BPA free and alternatives have been available for a while.