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.