THE BLOG

SIGG Should Apologize, Offer Refunds to Consumers

10/19/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

SIGG CEO Steve Wasik called earlier today to discuss Environmental Working Group's (EWG) response to his recent announcement that SIGG water bottles did in fact contain the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in their liners until August 2008.

Wasik's announcement has caused an uproar because the company led consumers and retailers to believe that its products were free of BPA. In doing so, SIGG capitalized and profited on consumers' clear preference in recent years to avoid products made with the chemical.

Nothing Mr. Wasik said changed our view about SIGG's discredited efforts to mislead consumers and retailers about its products.

We sent this letter today to the co-CEOs of The Riverside Company, the private equity firm that owns SIGG, asking for a public apology and a refund offer.

The Environmental Working Group

1436 U St NW

Washington, DC 20009





Stewart Kohl

Co-Chief Executive Officer

The Riverside Company

Terminal Tower

50 Public Square

29th Floor

Cleveland, Ohio 44113



September 4, 2009



Dear Mr. Kohl:



On behalf of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), I write to ask that you issue an unambiguous apology for misleading consumers and retailers about whether SIGG bottles contain the toxic chemical bisphenol-A (BPA).



I further urge you to modify SIGG Switzerland CEO Steve Wasik's recent announcement of a SIGG voluntary bottle exchange program. Consumers should be able to take SIGG bottles that contain BPA to an authorized SIGG retailer and receive a refund for the full retail value of the product. The cost of the refund should be covered by SIGG.



The announced exchange policy, which forces customers to accept a replacement SIGG bottle, puts them in the untenable position of having to trust Mr. Wasik and his team about the composition and safety of the replacement product.



It is our view that SIGG's reputation will be difficult to restore while Mr. Wasik remains at the helm of the company.



Sincerely,





Kenneth A. Cook

President

Environmental Working Group



CC:

Béla Szigethy

Co-Chief Executive Officer

The Riverside Company

45 Rockefeller Center

630 Fifth Avenue

Suite 2400

New York, NY 10111





Steve Wasik

Chief Executive Officer

SIGG Switzerland AG

Walzmühlestrasse 62

CH-8501 Frauenfeld

Switzerland