The environmental impact of our daily actions!

  • An annual global plastic production nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population
  • 500 times more microplastic particles in the ocean than stars in the Milky Way
  • The increasing presence of plastic in the food chain as well as in our plates
There are many reasons to be alarmed by the negative impact our plastic use and consumption have on the state of the planet [1]

Understanding the extent of plastic

Did you know that plastic has only really been around for 70 years? Hard to believe since today plastic is such a big part of most of our life. In just a few years, its production and use have drastically increased, transforming everything from packaging to product design, retailing and above all our consumption habits [2]

Since the late 1950s, more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced. With around 79% of the plastic waste produced accumulating in dumps and landfills or being found in the natural environment, there is no doubt about the harmful consequences of our increased plastic production and consumption on the environment, the oceans and the ecosystems [3]

Let’s not forget the same properties that make plastics so useful, their durability and resistance to degradation, also make their complete decomposition difficult if not impossible [3]. Although it can be easy to forget our waste once we throw them out, most plastic objects never completely disappear. They only get smaller and smaller and as the Executive Director of the UNEP (United Nation Environment Program) said: “plastic pollution is surfing onto Indonesian beaches, settling onto the ocean floor at the North Pole, and rising through the food chain onto our dinner tables” [4]

With only 9% of all plastic waste being recycled, the key to actually reducing our environmental impact and the presence of plastic in nature is not only to recycle but to reconfigure our personal consumption habits and limit our plastic use, especially single-use and disposable ones [5]

Reflecting on the impact of our habits

These facts are alarming and disturbing... I don't know about you but they certainly make me think. In fact, they make me question my lifestyle and consumption habits as well as their real consequences on the environment. If our plastic production and use can have so many damaging effects on the planet in less than a century, what if this trend continues or worse ... escalates?

According to the UN, if nothing is done to limit the use of plastic on all occasions, its production will be multiplied by 3 or even 4 by 2050. It is time to realise the problem and take serious actions for real change to happen! [6]

Since I started my journey towards a sustainable lifestyle and tried to adopt new, eco-friendly habits, I have come to realize the extent of my use of plastic, especially single-use. Everyday, I notice it is in my hygiene routine, in my bathroom and shower, in my kitchen and my fridge. Although plastic can be useful in some cases, this realization confirmed that our use is totally disproportionate to our real need. And especially when we keep in mind that plastic was not used less than a hundred years ago.

Ask yourself… Is plastic omnipresent in your daily life? Do you notice your use of plastic and could you imagine your life without it? Today, many of us use it out of habit, without even realizing it. A life without plastic may even seem impossible for some people ...

We hear about it more and more and the various statistics presented in this article show that plastic is really harmful for the planet and for us. Have you ever wondered about the real consequences that your everyday actions can have on the environment? Can your toothbrushes, deodorants and coffee filters be among the garbage found in nature around the world?

In order to define the environmental impact of our daily actions, my colleagues from Samara & Co and I tried to calculate our consumption of different plastic products. Here are the calculations we have defined and used …

Plastic in our daily life

In the bathroom

The first thing that comes to mind is often our toothbrush... but it is certainly not the only product made of plastic we often use in the bathroom. On top of our head we can think about the bottles of soap, shampoo and cream as well as the containers of deodorants, lip balms and sunscreen. Other products such as makeup remover pads, cotton swabs, dental floss and many other hygiene products are also made of plastic and/or wrapped in it.

One quick look can confirm that plastic is everywhere. How much do you think we use and throw away of each of these products each year?


According to dentists recommendations, we should change our toothbrush every three months [7]. Following this recommendation, an individual would therefore use an average of 4 toothbrushes per year.

Consumption Calculation

(example for someone in their thirties)

30 years x 4 toothbrushes / year = approximately 120 toothbrushes used and discarded so far


For many of us, an essential part of our hygiene routine is deodorant, which can mostly be found and sold in plastic containers. Based on the analysis of my habits and those of the people around me, I have concluded that I use about two deodorants per year but that some members of my family use up to four!

Consumption Calculation

Number of years you’ve been using deodorant
3 deodorants / year on average
= ?

how many deodorant used and discarded so far???

Example for a 30-year-old person who has been using deodorant since the age of 15
15 years x 3 deodorants / year on average = 45 plastic containers discarded

Makeup remover pads

Tons of makeup remover wipes and pads are thrown away every day. These little circles, which may seem harmless, are non-biodegradable and therefore increase the already astronomical amount of waste that we create every day [8].

Depending on your lifestyle, how many makeup remover pads do you use each year? Whether it's more or less than a hundred, why not switch to reusable ones? You will reduce your waste and save money in the long run!

Available at Samara & Co:

In the kitchen and on the go!

Plastic is also ubiquitous in the kitchen and fridge of most of us. To name a few, think of filters and coffee capsules, packaging for food and our favorite prepared snacks, and grocery and ziploc bags.

Plastic bags

More than 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used around the world each year and our daily consumption directly influences this statistic [3]. Ask yourself; how many plastic bags do you use each year to store food, shop for groceries and in your lunches?

Take away products

Several other products that we consume frequently are only used once before being thrown away. These include straws, bags of chips and snacks, utensils and take-out containers as well as plastic bottles ...

According to research firm Euromonitor, Canadians consumed more than 4.6 billion cups of take-out coffee in 2020 [9]. In other words, about 4.6 billion plastic lids have been produced and thrown away in Canada alone...

These facts and statistics prove that it is necessary to question our consumption habits since they directly contribute to earth pollution!

Our daily habits have an impact on the planet

In my experience, it is easy to think that our simplest actions do not do any real damage ... However, the calculations and their results as well as the nature of the waste that we find mostly on the beaches show that the most small actions can have a huge impact when repeated and multiplied by the entire world population.

Although these statistics are frightening, Samara & Co sees it as a good opportunity to learn and to really change. Indeed, these calculations also demonstrate the immense impact that simple changes towards more eco-responsible and sustainable habits could have.

So many eco-friendly options are now available; beeswax food wrap, reusable coffee filters and utensils, deodorants, lip balms and other products in compostable containers. These sustainable options are an accessible and simple way to reduce our single-use of plastic! Take a look at our Zero-Plastic collection

Simple daily changes that make a real difference.

Do your calculations, share your results with Samara & Co on our social media, influence those around you and take action!

Resources :
1* There Is Plastic In Your Fish :
1* 500 fois plus de bouts de plastique dans l’océan que d’étoiles dans la galaxie:
2* Canada is drowning in plastic waste — and recycling won't save us:
3* Our planet is drowning in plastic pollution—it's time for change!
4* ‘Turn the tide on plastic’ urges UN, as microplastics in the seas now outnumber stars in our galaxy
5* Making Your Daily Hygiene and Sink-Based Routines Ocean Friendly
6* Canada’s plastic problem: Sorting fact from fiction
7* Quand changer de brosse à dents ou de brossette?
8* Utiliser des tampons démaquillants réutilisables
9* Is it time to end the COVID-19 ban on reusable coffee cups?