The Female Lead

Meet the founder of Plastic Freedom

Seeking a platform to channel her plastic frustrations (and after vowing never to buy a plastic bottle again), Beth Noy started a blog giving advice on ways for people to cut out single-use plastics at home and to provide accessible inspiration for buying plastic-free alternatives. Proving popular, Beth’s plastic-free ambitions rapidly evolved, which soon led to the launch of her online shop and brand, Plastic Freedom, which she opened in 2017. 

Beth’s vision behind Plastic Freedom, which she started single-handedly from her spare bedroom in Southport, was to help consumers make the swap to plastic-free products and a plastic- free way of life, as seamlessly as possible.

Since launching Plastic Freedom, Beth has expanded her selection to almost 1000 products, gained more than 150k Instagram followers and now ships internationally to allow those without a local plastic-free offering the chance to make changes, with a loyal customer base in destinations as far- flung as Melbourne and Sydney.  Most recently, she has teamed-up with ‘One Tree Planted’ meaning that for every Plastic Freedom order placed, one tree will be planted in a chosen location across the world. Beth introduced the project to help reduce environmental impact, conscious of the amount of cardboard used in the attempt to abolish plastic and the positive impact planting trees has on reversing climate change. 

A few of Plastic Freedom’s best sellers

Why and when did you decide to go plastic-free?

It was definitely a gradual process that happened because I could no longer ignore the amount of plastic that surrounded me in my life. It always seemed crazy to me that I would buy something and throw away the packaging so quickly. It made me think about all of the people in the world doing the same and that at some point this was going to cause an issue.

I made the first step on my plastic free journey in March 2017 when I decided that I would never buy another plastic bottled drink again!

What inspired you to set up Plastic Freedom?

The lack of plastic free alternatives easily available online that would then arrive in plastic-free packaging was what inspired me to fill that gap and start Plastic Freedom. I knew that if I could make it easy for people to make changes and have everything easily accessible then a lot of people would start to make plastic free changes.

What’s the biggest challenge in persuading people to ditch plastic?

Convenience or not wanting to give up something they like – going plastic free does require some sacrifices. If there’s something you really can’t live without that currently comes in plastic I still always urge people to make the changes they can do as that still makes a huge difference; it isn’t about being perfect as the world we live in isn’t perfect!

Plastic Freedom plant a tree for every single purchase – what prompted you to make this pledge?

Knowing that we are in a state of climate emergency, I didn’t want to fix just one problem (cutting out plastic) and create another (using excessive amounts of paper). Trees are one of the things that can reverse climate change and knowing that I was in a position where I could start to plant trees for every purchase, it just felt natural for me to do this. Yes it cuts down on the profit Plastic Freedom makes but I think the planet is way more important than money!

What are your top tips for ditching plastic? What are the easiest swaps you can make?

I would look at things you use in your daily life that you can switch out, without having to completely change your lifestyle. For example, every day we brush our teeth but this never really stands out as something monumental in each day, we do it without even thinking. So, if you switch to a bamboo toothbrush, you will cut down on plastic waste dramatically over your lifetime without even noticing.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a business on their own?

DO IT! It takes a lot of hard work and dedication but if you have an idea then why not try it? I would always just say to make sure you have a USP (unique selling point), if there is someone out there already doing the same thing then what makes your company different? That way you will find the gap in the market to fill rather than fight for business with someone else.

I always urge people to make the changes they can do as that still makes a huge difference; it isn’t about being perfect as the world we live in isn’t perfect!

Who is your inspiration/role model?

I get inspiration from everywhere! Being outside and seeing the effect plastic is having in my own town and beaches is a massive drive for me to keep going. Plus each and every person who makes a plastic free choice and supports me is HUGE. It really keeps me pushing to expand and increase my product range and I know that it is appreciated by so many!

My dad is a massive role model for me. He has run a business for 35+ years and still to this day works so hard to keep things moving forward. Knowing that you have to put in the hours and hard work whilst remembering to have fun and never lose who you are, are some of the best things he’s ever taught me.

What one failure are you glad you experienced?

Completely running out of space in my house to stock products. It got so bad I couldn’t buy in any more items and it was a massive struggle to grow when I couldn’t hold the stock. This pushed me to find a bigger space and I now have a mini warehouse in the countryside that’s incredible. It’s increased productivity and it now means I have room for staff too!

What are your plans for the future of Plastic Freedom?

I have so many plans for what I want to do, but one main thing is I want to take Plastic Freedom international. Currently we ship abroad but this is a temporary solution (I want to keep our carbon footprint down) so I would love to set up online stores in different countries. The difference would be that in each country I would be supporting local suppliers and shipping to people in that country to help the plastic free movement grow across the world.

 

Thinking about ditching plastic? Check out Plastic Freedom today to start your journey to #plasticfreedom.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

**OVER 1300 PLASTIC FREE PRODUCTS** It seems absolutely crazy that I used to struggle finding plastic free alternatives and now nearly 2 years since I started Plastic Freedom, I have so many amazing products I’ve expanded into the other two rooms at my unit which I never thought I would use! . . I will say it over and over again but it shows that YOU are making a difference! By the choices you make by supporting plastic free products and shopping with me you have helped small brands grow, employ new members of staff and increase their product lines which means more plastic free goodies! . . By shopping with me it also gives me the buying power to be able to work with brands that may not be 100% plastic free, and help them change their packaging on the specific products or on the way they ship things. This is something I am SO passionate about and you will see this on products where I talk about ‘THE PLASTIC FREEDOM DIFFERENCE’. . . I will not stop trying to battle the plastic pollution problem and by you all supporting me and my business it means I have more power to do this than I ever imagined. . . SO WHAT DO I SEE FOR THE FUTURE OF PLASTIC FREEDOM? I always wanted Plastic Freedom to be a one stop shop for all things you need that I can assure will be plastic free and arrive with you plastic free. It cuts out waste and carbon emissions from trying to source everything you need from loads of different places and all if I can make shopping plastic free convenient then more people will start making changes! . . I have SO many plans for the future and how I can get individuals involved in joining Plastic Freedom so everyone can feel like they are making a difference in their area, if you don’t have all the business tools to start your own company! . . Great things are coming guys and as always it’s all down to you, for caring about the planet and wanting to see change as much as I do! 💚💚

A post shared by PLASTIC FREEDOM™️ (@plasticfreedom_) on