Going waste-free means you are always on the lookout for sustainable materials to replace single-use plastic. It means using up what you have before buying a replacement, learning to live without in some cases.
Most of all, it means looking for more sustainable options for commonly used items.
Plastic is such an incredible invention. It has literally saved lives in the case of medical uses of plastic such as tubing, oxygen masks, and more.
Using plastic has made a lot of things possible that were previously unimaginable. Plastic has been around longer than every person alive today.
Sadly, it will still be around when all of us are gone.
Choosing a Compostable Phone Case
Thankfully, we don’t have to contribute to plastic waste because there are other options out there! I certainly like the look of wood phone cases; however, I find them a bit clunky where I’ve seen them.
For the last several years, we’ve been using Pela Cases as a biodegradable alternative to the typical plastic phone case.
Pela Case was founded by Jeremy Lang, who had seen first hand what kind of damage plastic was having on our oceans.
I started Pela when my son Cole dug up some plastic on the beach in Hawaii and I started wondering about the impact of plastics on our planet…I just want to make sure that I do my best to protect the planet (our home) for my children and their children and the future generations to come!”
Our personal experience
I’m always looking for easy ways to reduce my carbon footprint. When I first discovered Pela Cases, I didn’t need a new case. Because I didn’t want to contribute to the problem, I waited until my current phone case was unusable before making the swap to one made with sustainable materials.
When I purchased my first Pela case, I was a bit hesitant, concerned that it might not protect my phone. Thankfully, beyond being eco-friendly, it has held up to being dropped numerous times. Including while riding my bike!
Even though I’m a clutz who drops her phone frequently, the case has a fairly grip-able texture and is easier to hold onto than some of the slick textured plastic ones I’ve had in the past.
I bought two cases during a sale for my iPhone 11 pro max; one with a credit card holder on the back, to use with my Apple device. When one gets dirty, or when I want to carry my cards without my wallet, I switch them out. In addition, I bought one for my youngest daughter’s iPhone 8 along with the ethos card.
Ethos is a radiation reduction tool that protects you by redirecting up to 80% of the Electric magnetic field coming from your cell phone. This patented Alara technology pairs with your Pela Case to redirect harmful radiation away from your phone, to reduce radiation, not reception.
Why is a Pela Case Considered Sustainable?
First, the case is completely vegan. They’re made in part with flax shive which is flax refuse.
Flaxstic™ is a combination of flax straw ‘waste’, plant-based biopolymers, and recycled materials. The flax shive provides the biopolymers with added texture, impact resistance and an eco-friendly appearance, while maintaining the biodegradability and compostability of the biopolymer. Flaxstic™’s eco-friendly appearance is a natural way to help corporations and consumers identify bioplastic and promote the shift from conventional plastic. The eco-friendly appearance also helps to separate plant based bio-plastics from conventional plastic in the recycling stream.
This is important because Pela‘s compostable phone case doesn’t get recycled, it gets composted.
Flax fiber is lightweight, strong and has natural shock absorbing qualities. Saskatchewan grows the most oilseed flax in the world and the flax straw is often seen as waste and burned because it is too difficult to breakdown in the field. Using flax straw in biocomposites supports local farmers and gives the biocomposites a unique eco-friendly appearance.
Pros and Cons of Biodegradable Phone Cases
The main pro of Pela Cases are that they withstand wear and tear, are compostable. Most importantly the company has a closed-loop end-of-life plan. I believe that their eco-friendly iPhone case is superior to traditional plastic goods. They also boast:
- 25% fewer carbon emissions
- 35% less water usage
- 70% less waste production
The cases are available for pretty much any working iPhone, android, Samsung galaxy phone. Pela is available for iPhone 6, iPhone 11 pro max, and pretty much everything in between.
I love the designs and the colors don’t fade like with other plastic phone cases I’ve had in the past. My favorite current design is Seashell Salmon River Eco-Friendly iPhone 12/ iPhone 12 Pro Case.
The Pela phone case doesn’t block the charger port or any other parts of your smartphone.
Another pro is that the Pela compostable phone case is free from BPA, BPS, lead, cadmium, phthalates, nickel, and soy.
The Pela Case is a bit pricey, especially if you include the screen protector, but doing so will be added protection for your phone and is the only way Pela will cover the cost if you crack your screen.
As for tech accessories, if you use a wireless charging pad there’s a small chance you may need to take your phone case off. But this is also the case with other thick phone cases and battery packs.
Pela says the cases don’t slow down your wireless charging, and they’re quick and easy to take off and put back on as needed.
The Pela Phone Grip can work with wireless charging, but it won’t work with all charging pads. We recommend taking your case off to charge with wireless charging if you use our phone grip.
I don’t use wireless charging for my apple devices, so this isn’t a con for me and wouldn’t make me choose a plastic iphone case over the biodegradable phone case. Reducing waste is a goal of mine so anything I can do to avoid plastic is a win for me.
How to Dispose of a Pela Case
One of the biggest concerns with bioplastic is that many people are confused about how to discard it.
Pela phone cases are especially easy to dispose of. Once you are ready to compost your Pela Case, all you’ll need to do is toss your used case in your backyard compost bin, give it all a mix, and let the microorganisms do the rest of the work. If you don’t have a backyard compost bin, check with your local composting facility to see if they accept bioplastics, or return your phone case to us and participate in the Pela 360 program.
Unfortunately, this is one of my concerns. Many people don’t know that bioplastics aren’t supposed to be recycled. Instead of composting, they may end up in with plastic recycling, which can contaminate the recycling.
Other Pela Products We Love
My second daughter, a combat photographer, is obsessed with her Pela case as well as her airpod case.
Pela created the world’s first compostable Apple AirPods case which is durable enough to protect your AirPods from drops, scratches, and dents and is crafted from plant-based materials. Both are a lovely lavender shade.
Sunglasses and Blue Light Blocking Glasses
I’ve heard so many good things about the sunglasses at Pela, so it’s on my list. Again, with the goal of reducing waste, I plan to buy Pela sunglasses when my current pair wears out or gets lost! The last pair of sunglasses I lost on a train between Beijing and Xi’an!
Remember to make everyday earth day by making sustainable choices when purchasing new products.
I’ve read some reviews and other notes where people have purchased a Pela case on Amazon that they felt was a knockoff. I don’t know how that works, but I’d recommend purchasing your Pela Case directly from the company.