Freelance Fundraiser’s Jottings

24 September 2008

SodaStream has me fizzing

OK, I love carbonated water and drinks and in an effort to reduce our carbon (no pun intended) footprint, my partner bought me a SodaStream machine for my birthday about 18 months ago. It means we no longer buy several plastic bottles of water and drinks from the supermarket each week, which then have to be recycled. (Although it’s not clear how many of these really do get recycled)

The gas cylinder for the SodaStream ran out recently, so I went to Lakeland and exchanged the old one for a new one. When I got home, I couldn’t work out why it wouldn’t screw in to the machine. Then I noticed the thread was chunkier, with 3 threads. The old gas bottles had 5 threads and were finer.

I telephoned SodaStream’s helpline, only to be told they had now changed the fitting on all new machines and the old gas cylinders were no longer available. That means every SodaStream machine around the world with the old 5 thread fitting was obsolete. However, they kindly offered to give me a brand new machine for free, so I could continue to use their products. How kind and generous.

I asked them if I should return the old machine to be adapted, as all it needs is a new plastic thread piece to replace the old plastic thread that connects to the gas bottles. “Oh, don’t bother” was their reply. “You can just recycle it”! Now who on earth is going to recycle SodaStream machines? Our local authority certainly won’t. So, not only have they stopped every loyal customer around the globe from using their product, unless they buy a new machine (how many would think to ask for a free one?), they are not converting perfectly good machines to take the new fitting, so creating a massive amount of waste plastic for landfill, etc. (Not to mention the obsolete gas cylinders too)

My new machine arrived this morning, so I can continue to save on plastic waste, but the whole saga has left a bitter taste that’s nothing to do with their flavourings.

SodaStream, you get my wooden spoon award for consumer rip-off, un-environmental non-achievement.

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