Earlier this year, the Jane Goodall Institute partnered with the Swiss-based reusable water bottle company, SIGG, to create the “Drop of Hope” cause bottle. Proceeds from sales of these bottles were slated to support our water and sanitation programs in Africa, including the construction of rainwater harvesting tanks at five schools in Tanazania. To contribute to our programmatic and fundraising efforts, U.S. members of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, our global environmental and humanitarian youth program, planned to sell the bottles in their communities.
Recently, SIGG has come under scrutiny for use of the packaging ingredient bisphenol-A (BPA) in its older bottle liners. According to company executives, when questions about the safety of BPA emerged in 2006, SIGG responded by creating a new “EcoCares” liner, which they claim does not include the substance. SIGG bottles have carried this new liner since August 2008.
It is our understanding that the “Drop of Hope” bottles were not fitted with the older liners that contain BPA. However, we are disappointed by SIGG’s initial lack of transparency to the public on this issue and have chosen to discontinue our relationship with SIGG. To date, the Jane Goodall Institute has not received any proceeds from the sale of the “Drop of Hope” bottle, nor will we accept any proceeds in future. We have requested that SIGG suspend sales of the “Drop of Hope” bottle, though advertisements created for the campaign may still be in circulation as some magazines went to print before this issue arose. We encourage consumers who have purchased a “Drop of Hope” or other SIGG bottle to contact SIGG directly to address any concerns they may have.
Needless to say, we are disappointed by this turn of events, but are taking the necessary action to remain true to our values and those of Dr. Goodall.