As a company of outdoor enthusiasts, the health and well-being of our planet is very important to us, as are our customers and personal connections. Innovation, outdoor experiences, and the health benefits rewarded from time outside are core to our company values. Recently, we’ve been asked a few times about BPA and our products. In a nutshell:
Any of our product surfaces that come into contact with food or beverages ARE 100% BPA FREE!
Now, what’s that even mean and why is it important?
BPA (Bisphenol A) is an industrial chemical that has been used since the ’50’s to make polycarbonate plastic resins, epoxy resins, and other products. Polycarbonate - a strong, resilient, and often transparent plastic - is similar to the material with which we make our water bottles and Infinity tableware. Until the early 2000’s almost all outdoor bottles contained BPA.
There have been over 1,000 animal studies on BPA. As early as the 1930’s it was found to mimic the effects of estrogen in the human body. The evidence from other studies link BPA to alterations in fertility, increased cancer risk, cardiovascular problems, impaired brain development, and others. Obviously this is nasty stuff. We don’t want it in our products because we don’t want it in our bodies and likely, you don’t either.
In 2008, the president of the largest Canadian outdoor retailer went against the plastic conglomerates (on the recommendation of Health Canada) and refused to buy or sell any more polycarbonate water bottles because of the presence of BPA endocrine disruptors. The outdoor equipment consumer market, being what it is, small yet powerful, basically outlawed any product with BPA. This action literally killed the North American Polycarbonate water bottle market overnight. Massive orders were cancelled, but leadership in companies like Innate, GSI Outdoors, and Kleen Kanteen jumped in to fill that gap with clean, BPA-free stainless steel water bottles.
As a company, we’re most proud of our unique approach to handling a full warehouse of unsafe polycarbonate water bottles. We separated the tops from the bottles then shipped the polycarbonate bottles back to our factory in China. There, they were chipped up and mixed with some fiberglass, and our Cat Hole trowel was born. To take things one step further, because of its upcycled pedigree, we partnered with Leave No Trace and, to this day, are giving back a percentage of our profits to further fund Leave No Trace’s mission.
Today, our transparent plastic products are made out of Polypropylene. Polypropylene does not leach chemicals into your food, will not impart that “plasticy” flavor into your food and does not absorb odors and colors from your food. As an added bonus Polypropylene is 100% recyclable.