At GoReusable.Org the quality and safety of our product is always at the core of our values.
To make sure our bamboo cups are food safe for consumers in the EU, there are stringent German LFGB standards that we have to comply with. The standards clearly layout for bamboo cups the substances that need to be tested for, test methodology and safe/pass limits.
In the main you’ll find it’s the factories (in China) who will prove to their customers, retailers and distributors, that their bamboo cups are LFGB compliant. We have visited many factories and they all have their LFGB certificates that are independently tested, verified and are readily at hand. Our factory certainly had their LFGB certificate, which had passed all the tests.
For 95% of customers buying from the factory, they will just check the factory’s own independently produced LFGB certificate and take that in good faith. In fairness to do your own LFGB tests is expensive and not an option for most of those customers..
But at GoReusable.Org in addition to this, regardless of the high costs, we wanted to have our own LFGB certificate and have further comfort that the bamboo cups from our supplier passed all the required tests. We did this in Feb 2019, by using SGS, a global world-leading testing and certification company, at their Ningbo laboratory. Please find a copy of the full LFGB report here. The results were pleasing as the cups passed all the tests.
On July 23rd 2019 the news broke that some bamboo cups tested by a German consumer group, Stiftung Warentest, had failed to meet the required LFGB standards. We need to stress our cups were not one of those that failed. The article primarily focussed on testing the migration of formaldehyde and melamine (this is the binding agent used to make the bamboo cups strong).
It’s important to note with these tests, as is common with a lot of food safety tests with a lot of products we use on a daily basis:
there are safe limits of migration, and below these safe limits the concentrations are deemed to be insignificant and well below the levels required to trigger any adverse health effects.
the tests to generate the migration are conducted under extreme conditions, far beyond what is normal use, so in reality migration is massively exaggerated, and even then tiny. For example the melamine test looks at the migration of melamine after the cup has been at 100 degrees (boiling point) for an hour. The water temperature in a cup might be 100 degrees when first poured but not for an hour.
This all said and done, after the German consumer group report we wanted to be doubly/triply sure so again we carried out, at our cost, formaldehyde and melamine LFGB tests, but this time with a UK SGS laboratory in Aug 2019. Our bamboo cups passed again the formaldehyde and melamine EU LFGB leakage test. Please see the results here.
At GoReusable.Org we’ve gone far beyond the normal realms of testing, to make sure our cups are safe so customers can be reassured that our cups have never failed any of the tests. As a matter of good practice we will continue to carry out formaldehyde and melamine tests on new containers, up to 4 times a year, so that our customers can use their cups in the comfort of this knowledge.
If you require further info on this topic please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always open to helpful suggestions.