This month we celebrate Plastic Free July, an important initiative that Rebecca Prince-Ruiz (the founder of the Plastic Free Foundation) started in Australia with the help of a small local government team in 2011. In this episode, I speak with Nikki Beckinsale about her business Plastic Free Alternatives, which promotes the idea that if we all take small sustainable steps, collectively, we can make a big positive impact. Plastic Free Alternatives offers a range of products that ‘do not harm the planet or our bodies’.

During the interview Nikki and I chat about her personal journey towards plastic reduction and how:

  • the film A Plastic Ocean, along with the amount of waste her family of five was generating, inspired her to make personal changes around their waste management and eventually led to offering more sustainable alternatives to the public through Plastic Free Alternatives, a business she started with her Mum
  • her and her Mum trialled every product they sell on their site so customers can be assured they work
  • we can start with changing one behaviour in Plastic Free July, such as having a plastic-free kids party
  • micro plastics are appearing in our soils and our foods 
  • she regularly shares recipes on her blog for DIY cleaning products that are really effective in cleaning toilets, washing clothes and cleaning surfaces
  • returning to some of the things our grandparents used, like soap savers, can better support the planet
  • part of the problem is seeing ourselves as separate from nature
  • it can sometimes take a while to transition to some sustainable products, like shampoo bars, but that it’s worth persisting when you think about the amount of plastic saved.

In honour of Plastic Free July here are some little known facts about plastic:

  • Since the 1950s, around 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced worldwide.
  • In some parts of the world, using plastic is already illegal.
  • 73% of beach litter worldwide is plastic.
  • A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute.
  • Worldwide, about 2 million plastic bags are used every minute.
  • 90% of plastic polluting our oceans is carried by just 10 rivers.
  • Plastic is killing more than 1.1 million seabirds and. animals every year.
  • The average person eats 70,000 microplastics annually
  • The average time that a plastic bag is used for is … 12 minutes.
  • Over the past 50 years, world plastic production has doubled.

I really enjoyed this very important discussion with Nikki and believe we all can do something to make a difference in our purchasing decisions and behaviours to help reduce our consumption of plastic.  Remembering that there is no AWAY when it comes to plastic.


We are excited to offer our listeners a very special giveaway for Plastic Free July, courtesy of Plastic Free Alternatives.

Win a selection of plastic free products, valued at more than $60 including:

  • 10 marine-grade stainless steel pegs
  • 1 x Eco Max Kitchen Scrubber
  • 1 bamboo toothbrush
  • 1 x shampoo or conditioner Bar
  • Beetastic beeswax wraps

To win you will simply:

  1. go to Beaming Green and Plastic Free Alternatives and register your details (You need to live in Australia)
  2. tell us what your pledge is for Plastic Free July and tag us on Instagram at Beaming Green and Plastic Free Alternatives

Bio of Nikki Beckinsale
Nikki Beckinsale has a background in marketing and communications prior to becoming a mum became aware of the insidious and often invisible plastic pollution’s impacting the health of the planet and their for the of health of us all.

As a busy mother of three boys her concern became a mission – to take action and motivate others to take action too, creating a snowball effect. Knowing that one million people taking one step towards reducing the plastic burden on our planet is more powerful than a small number of people trying to do it all.

She believes that because our health is intertwined with the health of the planet –  one simply isn’t possible without the other – it really is up to us all. So she set about looking for simple solutions to make it easier to live a more sustainably using plastic-free, planet friendly alternatives.

Her business is aptly named Plastic Free Alternatives. Managed in partnership with her Mum, Sue, it is not just a business, but an opportunity to guide people on how to replace the most commonly used items in their kitchens, bathrooms and laundries with good quality compostable, chemical free, plastic-fee alternatives.

She believes that it is possible for every single person to take small positive steps to reduce their dependence on plastic, because together we can have a big impact on healing our oceans and ultimately our planet from this dangerous pollutant.

Soap nuts as discussed in this episode

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