“The commitment from innovative companies to eliminate BPA from their cans sends a strong message that it is possible for the sector to transition away from using this dangerous chemical in packaging.” says Amy Galland, Research Director at As You Sow. “From the investor perspective, this is an important shift that is necessary to reduce chemical-related risks for these companies and help protect our assets.”
“As a leading natural and organic company in North American and Europe, we are pleased to have successfully transitioned to a BPA-free canister for our Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formulas early last year,” said Irwin D. Simon, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. “Additionally, through our collaborative research and testing program, we are evaluating BPA packaging alternatives for the metal lids of jars and the linings of metal cans, which to date show some significant promise in shelf-life testing and safety”.
According to the report authors, Campbell Soup and ConAgra were the most candid regarding their research to identify feasible BPA-free can linings. For example, ConAgra says it has “placed more than 40,000 cans into various test packs across [its] product lines… supported by 8 coating suppliers and 4 can suppliers,” and Campbell Soup has done “several hundred” tests, including “more than 500 this fiscal year alone.”
“There is a growing chasm between leaders and laggards on this issue” says Michael Passoff, Senior Program Director at As You Sow. “Fourteen companies received passing grades of A, B, C, or D. Yet almost as many companies, including Coca-Cola, Del Monte, Kraft, Unilever, Kroger, Safeway, Supervalu and Wal-Mart, received failing grades of F.” Delhaize Group, Hershey Co., Hormel, and Sysco refused to respond to the survey.
Green Century and As You Sow encourage companies in the report to eliminate BPA from product packaging where feasible substitutes exist, ensuring that any new packaging goes through extensive safety testing, and also to increase investments in testing new packaging options, improve public and financial disclosures on BPA, and collaborate more effectively as an industry to find and implement reliable substitutes. The authors also encourage investors, both institutional and individual, to pressure the companies in which they invest to address this potentially risky chemical in packaging.
The report is available here: www.greencentury.com/bpareport