Discover more about Plastic Freedom; the wide-ranging online plastic-free shop, founded by sustainability warrior Beth Noy
IMAGE: PLASTIC FREEDOM FOUNDER BETH NOY
While we’re all aware of the environmental crisis our planet is facing, how many of us have talked the talk about cutting down on our plastic use, but have struggled to follow through on our good intentions? The statistics speak for themselves; only about nine percent of all plastic that has ever been made has likely been recycled and around eight million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans every day. Yet cutting down, or cutting out plastic from our lives altogether, is not an easy process.
If you’re lacking in inspiration, time or motivation, then Plastic Freedom, the fantastic online plastic-free shop founded by 28-year-old Beth Noy is a must-visit. Motivated to set up shop after making the pledge to live plastic free herself, the huge variety of products Beth sells – from homeware, to beauty, clothing, food, household products and more – is hugely impressive. She continually sources new products that she personally tries and tests; from bamboo fibre plasters, biodegradable bamboo cotton buds, compostable cotton cleaning sponges, coconut fibre dish scourers and ‘cubes’ of shampoo that you mix with water. Plastic Freedom also offers a glass bottle refill service for shampoo, conditioner and cleaning products.
Of course, all of Plastic Freedom’s packaging is plastic free and they plant a tree for every order made via a donation to the non-profit organisation One Tree Planted, which plants trees around the world. Happier, healthier and motivated to make a real difference, Beth is the ultimate plastic-free champion. Here, she tells us more about setting up shop…
IMAGE: BETH WITH PLASTIC FISHING NET FOUND WASHED UP ON HER LOCAL BEACH
What inspired you to set up Plastic Freedom?
I live right by the beach in Southport and when I started to notice the devastating effect that plastic was having in my own town, I started my own journey to live plastic free. It was daunting and time-consuming making plastic-free changes; researching into products and brands was a lengthy process because no one was really talking about it or making it a priority. So I realised that if I was struggling, there must be others struggling too. That’s when I decided to start Plastic Freedom as a one-stop shop for everything I loved, to make going plastic free an easier process for others. I worked full time at my family’s bike company running the marketing, website, SEO and social media and grew Plastic Freedom for 11 months – getting very little sleep and having very little spare time. But it was all worth it when I quit my job in November and moved into my own mini warehouse in January.
IMAGES (L to R): SHAMPOO AND BODY WASH KUBES; COTTON CLEANING PADS; COCONUT FIBRE BRUSHES
What’s the biggest challenge in persuading people to ditch plastic?
People are very open to seeing changes and hearing about what they can do, but when it comes to actually integrating these changes into everyday life, it is hard. That’s why I wanted to make Plastic Freedom a platform where people can see and buy direct swaps, such as bamboo toothbrushes and sunglasses instead of plastic alternatives, zero waste soaps instead of plastic bottles of shower gel, organic raw cotton exfoliating gloves instead of plastic loufas. I’ve worked so hard to change people’s mindset.
IMAGES (L to R): COTTON EXFOLIATING GLOVES; COTTON TURKISH TOWEL; STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLE
You plant a tree for every order. What prompted you to make this pledge?
As we know, we are in a state of climate emergency. As well as the plastic pollution problem on the planet, climate change is real and we only have a certain amount of time to really start to save the situation. Planting trees is one of the biggest impacts we can have on the environment in a positive way, so I knew as soon as I was in a position where I could, I wanted to plant as many trees as possible.
IMAGES (L to R): BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSHES; COTTON DOG LEADS; BAMBOO SUNGLASSES
What are the biggest changes you have made in your own home to live plastic-free?
Food shopping was the hardest, the amount of things I have cut out of my life because they come in plastic was hard, but it is SO worth it! I now enjoy the food I eat so much more as it’s fresh, not processed and I leave no waste behind. I’m always prepared with food rather than buying a meal deal on the go and I do save a lot of money too. If you take it slowly, one step at a time, you can achieve anything and make ditching plastic the ‘norm’ for your life. It’s so rewarding.