Canadian Plastics

Canadian retailer drops bisphenol A products

Specialty outdoor goods retailer Mountain Equipment Co-op is pulling food and beverage containers made of polycarbo...

December 7, 2007   Canadian Plastics

Specialty outdoor goods retailer Mountain Equipment Co-op is pulling food and beverage containers made of polycarbonate plastic from its shelves, citing concern about the controversial chemical bisphenol A.

Bisphenol A, which mimics estrogen and is derived from petrochemicals, has been tentatively linked to illnesses that could be caused by hormone disruption.

However, manufacturers of bisphenol A say their research shows the material to be harmless.

Used in hard, clear plastic reusable bottles, the chemical is currently under review as part of the federal government’s Chemicals Management Plan, and the McGuinty government in Ontario recently announced an expert panel will review toxic chemicals, including bisphenol A.

Mountain Equipment said it would keep polycarbonate products out of stores, pending results of the federal review.”The products have been pulled from the shelves and we’re no longer selling them,” said Tim Southam, a spokesman for the Vancouver-based retailer, which has 11 stores and annual sales of about $222-million. “We’ve been following this issue quite closely and it’s one we’ve seen an increasing concern about among some [customers].”

The decision, which made Mountain Equipment Co-op the first retailer in North America to pull its polycarbonate bottles based on health worries, comes in the wake of a spate of bad publicity surrounding bisphenol A. Prior to the Ontario government’s appointment of the bisphenol A review panel in November, an outdoor rally had been held in Toronto to protest against the use of the chemical in baby bottles.


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