More than just Sustainability: How Your Reusable Water Bottle Choice Impacts Global Health

More than just Sustainability: How Your Reusable Water Bottle Choice Impacts Global Health

Do you love carrying a refreshingly cold bottle of water with you every day? Have you ever thought about how your choice of reusable water bottle can impact global health? Believe it or not, the type of reusable water bottle you pick can impact both your health and the health of the planet in some surprising ways.

In this blog we are going to take a dive into how your reusable water bottle choice impacts global health. We will explore microplastics and the potential health risks, how materials used in many insulated bottles may be detrimental to health and the environment, the plastic pollution problem and how choosing the right reusable bottle can make a massive difference.

Imagine knowing that your on-the-go water intake is just as good for the planet as it is for you. Keep reading to learn more about some of the hidden dangers lurking in some reusable bottles, and the ways we are tackling those issues to make Ohelo bottles a safe and sustainable solution.

Intrigued? Scroll to learn how your water bottle choice can contribute to a healthier you AND a healthier planet!

What do we mean by Global Health?

Global health is so much more than your own personal wellbeing. It is about creating a healthier planet for all of us. Looking at issues that pose health challenges for populations around the world, like environmental pollution and access to clean water.

Environmental pollution image of single use plastic bottles and other plastic waste washed up on a beach


How does this relate to water bottles? We can consider the growing issue of microplastics, the plastic pollution problem as a whole and what that means for the environment, and even the production process and the health of the people behind the bottles.

Microplastics: A growing concern

Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic measuring less than 5mm in length.

Microplastics can be found everywhere – from the top of Mount Everest to the bottom of the ocean. They are in the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink.


A 2019 study in Environmental Science and Technology showed that the concentration of microplastics found in bottled water was more than 20 times that found in tap water. A different study by the University of Newcastle, Australia, estimated that we ingest 5g of microplastics every week – or the same amount of plastic as eating a credit card every week. With most people accepting that these are likely underestimates, it’s definitely something to think about.

What does this all mean for our health? Currently further studies are needed to truly understand the impact that these microplastics are having on our health.

To minimise the amount of microplastics we drink every day, we can choose to drink tap water instead of bottled water. We can go a step further and avoid reusable plastic bottles, instead opting for a stainless steel reusable bottle or glass bottle to carry our drinks to go.

People Behind the Product: The Human Problem

Not all reusable water bottles are created equally.

Does your water bottle contain BPA (Bisphenol A)?
BPA has been found to have hormone mimicking properties and linked to several health problems. Choosing stainless steel, glass, or ceramic bottles instead of plastic bottles can help you lower your exposure to BPA, as well as opting for products that are clearly marked as BPA-free.

BPA Inforgraphic by Ohelo


Does your reusable insulated bottle contain lead?
Not sure? Would you be surprised to hear almost all vacuum insulated bottles on the market are still sealed with lead? Lead which is toxic to both people and planet and linked to several health issues. But this impacts on more than just yourself. The people that make these reusable bottles are exposed to this lead in their workplace, with their environment also vulnerable to lead pollution. Furthermore, when these bottles are recycled lead can leach into the environment and build up to ever increasing concentrations.

Infographic: Most insulated metal bottles still contain toxic lead - by Ohelo


Choosing an insulated water bottle from one of the few lead free bottle brands out there means you are not only looking out for yourself but are ensuring those making your bottle and those who will eventually recycle your bottle are protected too. You can learn more about the shocking facts regarding lead in water bottles by reading our blog “Does your insulated reusable water bottle contain toxic LEAD?

Who made your reusable water bottle?
Did they have enough health and safety in place to keep them safe at work? Are the materials that were used to make your reusable bottle toxic to their health during the manufacturing process? Is the surrounding environment suffering from pollution caused by making your water bottle?

Bottle manufacturing image


Choosing a reusable water bottle manufactured in an ethical and sustainable way is key to ensure the making of your bottle does not pose a health risk to others. Look for brands with ethical manufacturing practices, that hold certificates proving social and environmental responsibility and that hold independent audits on their manufacturing sites.

Plastic pollution and recyclability

Plastic pollution is a global problem. Did you know that 1 million single use plastic bottles are sold every minute around the world? Or that here in the UK a staggering 7.7billion single use plastic bottles are bought each year? Think that recycling is the solution? Think again. Plastic can only be recycled 2-3 times before the material degrades too much to be used again, resulting in all plastics ending up as waste eventually.

Infographic: The single use plastic problem - by Ohelo


Then there are the limits to recycling to think about. Despite best efforts, the UKs recycling rates for plastic bottles has remained at 57% for the last 5 years. This means there are still billions of bottles every year going straight to landfill and incineration, adding to global plastic pollution problem and the growing issue of microplastics.

Choosing a Better Reusable Bottle

This is where your choice of water bottle comes in! Picking a high-quality reusable water bottle is a simple way to reduce plastic waste, reduce your exposure to microplastics and other harmful chemicals, and protect the planet from plastic pollution and other toxins.

This is where Ohelo bottles can help you go beyond sustainability and give you a better option for both your health and that of the planet:

Lead free Insulation: Unlike almost all other insulated bottles on the planet, Ohelo bottles are completely lead free. Better for you, better for those making our bottles, better for the planet. Learn more about lead in water bottles here.

Safe materials: Ohelo bottles are BPA- free, naturally. But we go one step further by also making our bottles to be BPS- free and BPF-free. These other bisphenols are extensively used to replace BPA in products, and while there are not as many studies currently on these alternative bisphenols, the ones that do exist suggest that they could have even stronger hormone mimicking traits than BPA itself. Learn more about BPA and it’s alternatives here.

Durable, long lasting, and endlessly recyclable: Crafted from high quality food grade stainless steel our bottles are built to last. When the time does come to recycle them, they are endlessly recyclable, helping you towards a more circular lifestyle and minimizing plastic waste.

Ethically made: Here at Ohelo we ethically and responsibly make all our bottles and travel cups to ensure every person involved in making your reusable bottle is looked after properly. We hold independent audits to ensure everything from workers rights to environmental protections are just as they should be. We also hold a number of certifications regarding environmental and social protection.

Join the Movement for a Healthier Future:

The choices that we make can impact our health but also the health of our planet. By choosing an Ohelo reusable bottle, you are deciding to minimise your exposure to microplastics, reduce unnecessary plastic pollution, supporting safe material choices that protect both you and the people making the bottles, and contributing to a more sustainable future. Now that is something to be happy about, with every sip you take.

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News and insights from the Ohelo HQ