Get to know Beth from Plastic Freedom.

Interview with Beth Noy • Posted on February 27 2022

Plastic Freedom is a destination for plastic free and environmentally conscious alternatives to your everyday important items. We sat down for a chat with Beth - founder of Plastic Freedom to discuss remote working, after dark activities, Slow South faves and all things eco.


Beth, what prompted you to start looking into eco products and creating Plastic Freedom?


Moving to the seaside town of Southport and seeing the amount of plastic and rubbish on beaches really opened my eyes to the plastic problem as it was everywhere, right on my doorstep! 


It was like one day my eyes were opened to the world around me that I had never seen before and it made me look at my life and the direct impact my buying habits were having, so I started looking at ways I could reduce my waste. 


I started a blog and instagram (it was called the Plastic Free Hobbit back then) to have an outlet for the things I was discovering. Seeing the amount of friends and family who had started noticing plastic waste in their own lives from what I was doing really spurred me to keep going.


It was then I realised I had a problem; everyone I was talking to was starting to understand the problems surrounding plastic but no one was willing to make swaps because it was ‘too difficult to research, too expensive and time consuming;’ the list went on. I decided I was going to make it easy for them. I knew that if I could source everything in one place and continue to recommend things from my personal experience, then people would start cutting plastic out of their life, one little step at a time.


This is when Plastic Freedom was born, a couple of weeks after this thought and £300 out of my savings to buy my first products, the website launched and I sold out in the first weekend!


How do you choose what to sell through Plastic Freedom and are there any products you wish you could get your hands on that don’t exist?


I am my own target audience; If I need something in my life that I haven’t already sourced plastic free and eco friendly, then I go on a hunt to find it. This makes sourcing products SO fun and easy! From this I’ve discovered so many small businesses working hard for the same reason and helping them grow whilst changing consumer habits is the best feeling!


I just have the motto that - if I need it, then someone else does too!


I really want to see a big shift in household appliances, furniture and building materials. These are all huge problem areas for plastic waste and from researching this over the years, I can already see the change coming!


You recently moved to Newquay to submerge yourself in environmental change, how do you find running your business remotely from there?


It’s been tough, but one I wouldn’t change for the world. Like my dad always told me, ‘the key to life is happiness, it doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you’re happy then that’s all that counts.’ This move is what I needed to do so I knew everything would fall into place, it might take some work but that’s something I embrace.


There are always issues that come up when running a business (whether I’m physically there or not) but it’s these problems that actually cause everything to progress. Every time something goes ‘wrong’ it’s a lesson; we learn, adapt and improve from each one of those things. The same can be said about life.


My staff have always supported my move away, they are all close to me (I am a very open book) and they know that by me putting my happiness and life as a priority is what encourages them to always do the same. Plastic Freedom would not be here today, having the impact it’s having, if it wasn’t for this. 

"It was like one day my eyes were opened to the world around me..."

What advice can you give to those who want to start living a more environmentally conscious life but are not sure where to begin or feel overwhelmed? 


This is my favourite question people ask me! My first thing is to say STOP putting pressure on yourself. With all the stuff in the media about the state of the planet right now it’s hard not to feel the weight of it all on your shoulders, but I assure you, there are many of us here to lighten the load and it can actually be pretty fun!


Find something you’re interested in, it could be cooking, skincare, cleaning, being outdoors, anything and then spend some time absorbing what you do in that area. 


What are the things you buy or do without thinking twice about? It could be the cling film you’ve wrapped your lunch in for years, the pack of makeup wipes you use each evening or even the rubbish you pass on your walk.


Make a little chart on a notepad of the things you find, one side for what you’ve noticed and the other side are the swaps you can make. Then start to tick these things off one at a time. There is no pressure or timescale but when things run out you can make a plastic free swap and before long you’ll have cut out so much plastic without having a drastic life change!


If you’re not sure on what swaps to choose, my website and instagram are literally a plastic free encyclopedia and I’m always around to answer any questions too! 


Tell us a bit more about Plastic Freedom - After Dark? What made you decide to expand into this area?

After Dark has been something I’ve been dreaming about for a long time! When the pandemic hit and I heard about the crazy rise in sex toy sales (don’t quote me on this but it was something like 300% rise) I knew I had to provide eco alternatives for an industry that is very damaging to the environment but is very taboo to talk about openly. 


The incredible amount of plastic, harmful materials and disposable packaging in the sex toy market is staggering and I wanted to bring together some of the brands that are fighting for change! As I mentioned early, if I can make these swaps easy for people then they will start to make changes and so far it’s gone down a storm!


The same goes for alcohol; it’s so ingrained into our lives that we don’t take a moment to stop and think about the impact this could be having on the environment. As soon as I started looking into this I was blown away by the amount of incredible brands out there already doing so much to not only lower their impact, but in some cases have a positive output at the end of production! 

When you’re not working on all things Plastic Freedom, we know you love to spend a lot of time outdoors. If you had to pick one: Surfing, Hiking, Snowboarding or Cycling. Which would you choose and why?


SURFING! There is just something magical about getting in the sea being surrounded by something that’s so powerful and endless. When you surf you have so much to think about and it allows your brain to be completely in the present moment, switch off and let go of everything other than that feeling of being on a board, gliding through the air!


Tell us your most loved Slow South item and why.


I honestly love everything and it’s hard not to buy it all, but I buy pieces as and when I need them! My absolute favourite is the Lazy Days hoodie purely because it’s the hoodie I live in when I’m doing the complete opposite of a lazy day! It’s comfy, warm and literally perfect for evenings on the beach, after surfing or any adventure.

Shop the Lazy Days Hoodie