Six US Baby Bottle Manfacturers Walk Away From Bisphenol-A (Polycarbonate) Designs


Cubs Branded Plastic Baby Bottle. Image credit:NextCentury.

The major brands, Avent, Disney First Years, Gerber, Dr. Brown, Playtex and Evenflow have all have agreed to stop selling baby bottles manufactured from the monomer Bisphenol-A (BPA). This is according to a press release by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Will this voluntary agreement result in a world without corporate-logo covered baby bottles? Will it force the Cubbies to lose - yet again?

Following this baby supply-makers' cautionary first-step, there may be more changes coming:

These proposals would bar the use of BPA in any product marketed for use by children under the age of 3; ban BPA from infant formula and baby food containers; and prohibit anyone from selling or distributing any reusable food or beverage container containing BPA if a safe alternative is available.
Via: CT Attorney General

BPA general backgrounder.
No bottles or can liners are made "of" BPA. They are made "from" BPA as a base component.

BPA is a "monomer" that can be polymerized into polycarbonate plastic. That's what so-called "BPA" baby bottles really are - polycarbonate plastic. There are leachable BPA residues in the polycarbonate plastic because polymerization, like all chemical reactions, takes extra time, reaction promoters, and and energy to drive to completion. On a high speed production line, that reduces profit.

Food packaging may be lined with a BPA-based epoxy resin coating. Same principle applies. There might be ways to drive the polymerization of the resin to completion but it would take more time, energy, and perhaps a technology license, which means less profit. Note: Sigg refillable water bottles have apparently achieved a non-leaching BPA based inner coating. See: Are Sigg Aluminum Bottles BPA Free? for details.

Environmental trade-offs. Some plus, some minus.
Experienced parents know that baby likes to throw his 'Ba Ba' to get attention. Traveling with glass bottles means more weight and added risk of an embarrassing smashup.

Glass bottles have a higher thermal mass than a thin-walled plastic bottle and take longer to heat up for baby - hence more energy is consumed in their use. Plus, they subjectively "feel" hotter than plastic bottles do - perhaps because of conductivity.

That leaves the HDPE frame tubes, with plastic replaceable bladder liners. These can not be heated up safely in the microwave (although I admit to trying it out of late-might frustration). Bladders should not be re-used, which means more waste is generated.

Cans are lined with epoxy to prevent food-based corrosion of the metal and presentation of metallic off flavors in the canned food, including baby formula. Finding a safe and effective substitute for a can lining material is going to be serious challenge.

As for the Cubs, it should be possible to emblazon their logo on glass bottles, although at greater expense. And, it might be against stadium rules to have glass bottles, knowing that adult fans also throw their baba's.

More BPA related posts.
Into the Mouths of Babes: Green to Grow Bottles
Wal-Mart Dumps BPA Bottles; More Studies Pan BPA
FDA Throwing BPA Panel Under the Bus
BPA Danger may be greater from Tin Cans than Water Bottles ...