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Thanks to the shifting attitudes of customers and their awareness of the ecological emergency our planet is in, environmental considerations are no longer an afterthought for product manufacturers. You can observe this shift by observing the many eco-friendly accessories currently available for cell phones? Eco-friendly phone cases are changing the landscape of the mobile phone accessories industry. With so many stylish and sustainable phone cases out there, how do you choose?
In this post, we’ll share the benefits of biodegradable phone cases, criteria for choosing the best one, and 10 great sustainable phone case companies in the market today.
Let’s get started!
The Rise of Phone Cases and Their Impact on Pollution
When we glance at the period from the introduction of the iconic Nokia 3310 to the more recent iPhone 12 Pro launch, we see that the general public’s attitude towards mobile phones has shifted. Once considered a luxury and a specialized tool, these devices are now ubiquitous, and their users can’t be separated from them. We not only use them for calls and texts, but also for playing games, listening to music, setting alarms and reminders, taking pictures and videos, and browsing websites. These devices are an extension of every digital citizen’s being, and that’s why they buy and use protective cases that reflect their tastes and interests.
Still, a phone case’s primary function remains the same — to protect your phone from damage and scratches. Companies are capitalizing on users’ need to protect and ‘brand’ their devices by creating extravagant cases that make a style statement. Fundamentally, there’s nothing wrong with an elegant phone case. However, their production, which leads to environmental degradation, makes us pause. Today, we buy phone cases not just to protect our phones, but to make them look good without thinking about their impact on the planet. Statistically, over 5 billion people own mobile devices. Moreover, a certain portion of this population upgrades their smartphones every day. Take these facts into consideration, and you’ll realize that many phone cases are sent to landfill every day as well. Here’s a breakdown of the impact:
Leather Phone Cases
As per environmentalists, the mass production of leather goods is damaging our planet. Its dying process involves several harmful chemicals. Leather phone cases can take up to 500 years to biodegrade.
Plastic Phone Cases
Plastic takes centuries to decompose, and it has become one of the biggest problems on our planet. It also releases toxic chemicals into the soil during the decomposition process.
Silicone Phone Cases
Silicone phone cases are extremely durable, and you can use them for years as long as you use the same phone. However, silicone’s long life makes it an environmental concern. It’s so durable that it can take centuries to decompose.
Choosing an eco-friendly phone case is a great alternative to conventional phone cases. They don’t harm the environment, and with more environmental awareness, people are choosing sustainable phone cases without compromising on their style factor.
How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Phone Case
The three main factors to consider when choosing a biodegradable phone case are the raw materials companies use to produce them, its degradation, and quality:
Phone Case Materials
Companies that produce eco-friendly phone cases use less synthetic, petroleum-based materials, and prefer bio-materials that require significantly less energy for production. If you want to buy a sustainable phone case, the first thing you need to do is enquire about what it’s made of. The most popular bio-materials used for production are:
Bamboo is a fast-growing bio-material that does not deteriorate after harvesting. It continues to grow up to three meters a day, making it a great stable and sustainable raw material for producing phone cases.
There are more potential uses of a cork besides sealing wine bottles! Cork is an environmentally friendly material that comes from the bark of a cork tree. Peeled cork oaks process more carbon dioxide to release oxygen and protect the climate.
Many manufacturers prefer to use bio-plastics, which comprise several raw materials, like wheat straw, plant fibers, and corn starch. Since all these materials come from a renewable source, they’re biodegradable and safe for the planet.
§ Recycled Plastic or Wood
Lastly, some companies make recycled plastic or sustainable wood phone cases. Recycling plastic is one of the most popular green initiatives today, and what better way to get rid of plastic waste than to convert it into a product you can use all the time.
Here’s a simple checklist for eco-friendly phone cases
in terms of material:
1. Any sustainable phone case you choose should be made with any of the raw materials listed above.
2. The raw materials should not have any toxic adhesives or composites.
3. You should try to purchase from a company certified in climate neutrality.
Phone Case Degradation Time
Another reason for buying a sustainable phone case is to reduce the amount of waste in waterways and landfills. So, you want to choose a case with an ideal decomposition time, preferably less than a year. Moreover, the case should not release any harmful chemicals into soil or break down into smaller particles in water. In simple words, you should aim for a 100% compostable phone case.
Due to their constant use, mobile phones get dropped very often despite users’ best efforts. So, if you’re looking for an eco-friendly phone case, it should serve its purpose no differently to a regular phone case in terms of:
Of course, if you want to make a fashion statement with your cell phone, any case you choose should have a design you like.
You want a cover that’s easy to carry around and doesn’t pack any extra weight.
You can own the prettiest or most popular biodegradable phone case. However, it won’t be any good if it doesn’t provide reliable phone protection, therefore the best eco-friendly phone case has to be at least as good as a regular one.
The Best Eco-Friendly Phone Cases in the Market
There are hundreds of options for sustainable phone cases in various designs and build qualities. Hence, you can find many phone cases that suit your taste and the phone you’re using. However, you should always make sure you check the width and length of the case to ensure it fits. Considering there’s endless variety, finding and ordering the best eco-friendly phone case off the internet can become a bit tedious.
This is why we have shared the top 10 eco-friendly phone cases to make decision-making easier. Check them out:
Pela case is one of the biggest names in the ecological phone case market. The company uses flax straw waste and a blend of plant-based biopolymers to create its cases. Moreover, their cases are also free of heavy metals, Bisphenol, and phthalates. Pela also allows you to mail old or unwanted phone cases as a social responsibility initiative to remake them into future cases.
A Pela case is slim but shock-absorbent, providing excellent protection against drops and scratches. You can find them in a variety of designs and colors.
Carved is an American eco-friendly phone case company that primarily uses wood from sustainable forestries for production. However, they also use old wood stock from various sources, such as old houses, boxes, and furniture. They’ve been in the business since 2012 and also produce eco-friendly purses, bracelets, and wireless chargers.
One of the best features of Carved is that every plastic free phone case has unique patterns. However, their wood phone cases are only available for Samsung Galaxy and iPhone models.
3. A Good Company
A Good Company is a Swedish company that uses the waste products of their local linseed plant. As a result, their phone cases are 100% biodegradable. As a social responsibility initiative, the company plants a tree for every phone case they sell.
Furthermore, it is among the few companies in the world that are CO2-negative. Hence, A Good Company extracts more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it releases. The company produces the slimmest iPhone cases in the market for Apple users from the iPhone 6 through iPhone X to the iPhone 12. You can also find them for some Samsung models, including the A-series.
Wilma is another Swedish company that produces compostable phone cases. But instead of using the native linseed plant, their phone cases are made of corn-based bioplastic that breaks downinto nothing but water and carbon dioxide in 6 months. You can find cases in different colors, all bearing a marine animal affected by ocean plastic pollution, including a turtle, manta ray, sea horse, whale, or dolphin.
Furthermore, it’s not just the case that’s sustainable. The whole packaging uses recycled cardboard, so they play no role in deforestation. The company strives to help the ocean by donating $1.00 for each purchase to support various projects.
Reveal is an American company that makes different eco-tech accessories, such as solar-powered speakers, carbon fiber Earbuds, and bamboo Bluetooth keyboards. They produce eco-friendly phone cases using cork leather. So, you have the look and feel of leather minus the cruelty. Moreover, their cork is also 100% sustainable and renewable, and they don’t have to participate in deforestation for it.
As for their cases, you can find them in stunning cork wood designs and patterns. Corkwood naturally absorbs shocks and is water-resistant. So, this material can protect your phone from all kinds of damage.
6. Wild Case
Wild Case Is a UK-based sustainable phone case company that produces cases for iPhones. The company uses corn starch, polylactic acid, and bamboo straw to make its phone cases. Thiscombination of materials creates bioplastic, which is degradable. Microbes in this polymer can metabolize all the carbon in 12 to 24 months in a home composter.
Wild Case is renowned for producing speckled cases with a smooth, matte texture that allows for a firm grip. The thin design doesn’t make the phone look bulky and is compatible with wireless chargers.
If you own an iPhone X, 11, or 12 series, you need to check out Nimble’s eco-friendly cases. The company uses a combination of 100% recycled plastic bottle base and organic hemp to give the case a fabric-like feel and firm grip. The company also uses recycled CDs, so if you’re wondering what to do with that old Linkin Park or Eminem CD, know that Nimble can take it off your hands.
Nimble iPhone cases come in two designs: standard solid colors and bi-color card holder cases. The car holder cases are extremely popular because they’re multipurpose and come in handy for people who don’t like to carry a purse or wallet all the time. Other products include charging accessories made from recyclable aluminum and sugarcane-based bioplastic.
Unlike most eco-brands, they donate 5% of each sale to different charities and ocean waste recycling companies. Nimble is undoubtedly one of the best choices if you are looking for a eco-friendly iPhone case.
Kalibri is a German eco-brand that uses thermoplastic polyurethane (a blend between rubber and plastic), and natural wheat straw. Both raw materials are eco-friendly, biodegradable.
Kalibri phone designs come in 5 bright colors, including black, navy blue, mint, red, and more. However, if you’re an Android user, consider different options since this brand only produces cases for iPhone 7 and above models.
The cases have a soft matte finish and offer complete protection by covering the back and edges. They also don’t leave fingerprint marks.
9. The Eco Owl
The Eco Owl is an Australian eco-brand that makes different biodegradable phone cases, including engraved wooden ones. Their most popular designs are made of bamboo fiber and corn plastic, and they come in many solid colors. The company also uses coffee beans, lavender, rose petals, and jasmine blossoms for their more exclusive designs. So, you can smell them in your case.
The Eco Owl also produces eco-friendly watches, sunglasses, purses, jewelry, and wallets. For every sale, the brand cleans nearly two pounds of ocean plastic.
Casetify is a Hong Kong-based phone case manufacturer. Their cases are made of biopolymers, starch, and bamboo. All their raw materials are non-toxic, which makes their eco-friendly phone cases 100% biodegradable. However, the company only produces cases for iPhone models. Another interesting fact about Casetify is that they plant a tree for every sustainable phone case they sell.
By now, you’re aware of how damaging conventional phone cases are to our planet. If you’re ready to jump on the eco-friendly phone case wagon, you can choose any of the above sustainable phone case brands, as long as they’re available for your device. Who says you can’t make a style statement while protecting the environment?
By switching to sustainable phone cases, you have a quality product that essentially functions the same way as a regular phone case, looks great, produces zero waste, has a minimal carbon footprint and thus and saves the planet.
What about phones? Are there eco-friendly smartphones?
Well, not only phone cases threaten the environment, e-waste coming from smartphones is a significant problem as most phones contain plenty of toxic materials that don’t get recycled properly. Check our review of the most eco-friendly phones to find out more about what the exact environmental impact is and what products there are on the market which are relatively eco-friendly.