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8 Eco-Friendly Phone Cases to Protect Your Phone

Eco-Friendly Tech

Last Updated on January 13, 2023

I have two phones – one for filming videos and taking high quality pictures, and another for everyday calls and texts. Both need phone cases because this helps protect them from breaking and prolongs their life.  

Problem is over one billion plastic phone cases are sold each year, and most of them are made from virgin plastic.  

8 Eco-Friendly Phone Cases to Protect Your Phone

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Virgin plastic has a big carbon footprint: Crude oil must be extracted from the earth unsustainably using fracking, then fossil fuel powered factories turn it into moldable plastic. This whole process is incredibly energy and resource intensive.  

The average smartphone lasts between 2 to 4 years, and that’s assuming you don’t decide to upgrade to new technology every two years. During that time, you could change your cellphone case multiple times – either because it breaks, or because you simply want a different design.  

Phone cases are also typically packaged in a lot of excessive and unrecyclable plastic packaging too. While packaging isn’t the only thing that you should be looking at, it is something to consider.  

Making the switch to eco-friendly phone cases is a better move for the planet. Here are the most sustainable phone cases that will actually protect your phone.  

8 Eco-Friendly Phone Cases to Protect Your Phone

what is the most eco-friendly phone case? 

The most eco-friendly phone case is the one you already have. Don’t toss yours out until it breaks – otherwise, that will just create more waste and defeat the purpose.  

Instead, use it until it’s ready to be replaced by a more sustainable alternative, like the phone cases on this list.  

The most eco-friendly phone case will be one that doesn’t use virgin materials (like plastic, which has to be extracted from the earth as crude oil and made into plastic). Instead, it will utilize recycled or compostable materials from ethical sources.  

Ideally, its end of life won’t be a landfill, but to be recycled into something new, or composted back into the earth.  

Here’s what criteria eco-friendly phone cases must check off: 

  • Recycled, compostable or sustainable materials 
  • Ethical and transparent manufacturing 
  • Low waste packaging/delivery is a bonus 
  • End of life is being recycled or composted 

RELATED: How to Recycle Cellphones + Why You Should

are pela cases actually eco-friendly? 

Yes, Pela cases are actually eco-friendly, plus functional. I have been using Pela cases for years and they always do a great job protecting my phone. 

Pela is a popular and sustainable phone case brand that also makes other phone accessories and sunglasses. All their products are compostable, and their phone cases are made from flax shive and a plant based biopolymer. 

For more information on Pela cases, be sure to check them out along with the other brands listed below.  

8 Eco-Friendly Phone Cases to Protect Your Phone

are biodegradable phone cases good? 

Be aware that biodegradable does not mean compostable. Be wary whenever you hear a phone case company claiming they’re biodegradable.  

Here’s what the difference between the two are: 

  • Biodegradable: simply means an item breaks down. In plastic’s case, it breaks up into tiny pieces of microplastics which continue to pollute over time. Biodegradable also doesn’t have a time stamp – it can biodegrade in 15, 50, 100, or 500 years. This means up until whatever time it breaks down, it’ll still be lingering in the environment or a landfill. To put this into perspective, all plastic ever created is still with us today. 
  • Compostable: materials break down in weeks or months, like an apple in the soil. They return to nature with the help of naturally occurring microorganisms (like fungi). Compostable products must fully break down leaving nothing behind within a year, and can only compost in a composting environment, not a landfill. 

This is not to say biodegradable phone cases cannot be sustainable – that depends on the specific materials they’re using in it. As a general rule of thumb, be wary when you hear “biodegradable” and then see the phone case is just made of virgin plastic upon closer inspection.

You can play it safe by opting for compostable options over biodegradable. However, please be advised certain places do not accept compostable products, so double check with your local drop off center if it’s allowed. 

8 Eco-Friendly Phone Cases to Protect Your Phone

what are compostable phone cases? 

Compostable phone cases are able to break down at the end of their life and return to the earth without leaving any toxic residue. Similar to how food scraps become compost that feeds garden plants, compostable phone cases must be able to do the same. 

I’ve listed several compostable phone case options in the brands below. However, please be advised not everyone has access to compost, which means sometimes even compostable items end up in the trash.  

This kind of defeats the purpose, so I advise double checking if you have the proper means to compost your compostable cellphone case first before purchasing. Some drop off locations won’t accept compostable plastics and may need to be sent back to the manufacturer, or sent to an industrial compost facility. 

gzw approved eco-friendly phone cases: 

I’ve rounded up a list of phone cases that get the Going Zero Waste seal of approval. All these phone cases are made from compostable, recycled or sustainable materials. 

Many of these companies offer take-back programs and are part of other sustainable initiatives as well, like donating to non-profits or being certified Climate Neutral.  

However, please note that there are a few phone case companies listed that only have biodegradable options available. These aren’t perfect solutions, but I decided to include them because they’re still a better option compared to using a phone case made from virgin plastic.  

I’ve gone ahead and highlighted some of my favorite features of each brand, but it isn’t an exhaustive list. Be sure to check out their websites for more information. 

Pela: 8 Eco-Friendly Phone Cases to Protect Your Phone

1. pela

  • Made from flax shive and a plant-based biopolymer 
  • Compostable  
  • Plastic-free shipping 
  • Donates to ocean cleanup + preservation 
  • Take-back program 
  • B Corporation 
  • Climate neutral 

Nimble: 8 Eco-Friendly Phone Cases to Protect Your Phone

2. nimble  

  • Base case made from 72% certified recycled plastic 
  • Clear cases made from recycled compact discs 
  • Take-back program for any used plastic phone cases 
  • Plastic free packaging 
  • B Corporation 
  • Climate Neutral 
  • 1% For the Planet 

Casetify: 8 Eco-Friendly Phone Cases to Protect Your Phone

3. casetify 

  • Compostable cases made from a blend of plant-based biopolymers and starch, and a bamboo particle texture finish 
  • Re/CASETiFY cases are made of 65% recycled and plant-based materials from recycled phone cases 
  • Take back program: Send old case (from any brand) for discount 

Skate 4 Create: 8 Eco-Friendly Phone Cases to Protect Your Phone

4. skate 4 create 

  • Made from recycled skateboard wood from broken boards 
  • Handmade 
  • Sources most materials locally from friends, skate shops, and skate parks 

Wave: 8 Eco-Friendly Phone Cases to Protect Your Phone

5. wave 

  • Made of wheat straw, PLA, and PBAT 
  • Biodegradable 
  • UK based 
  • Deliveries are carbon neutral 
  • Plastic-free mailers 
  • Each purchase helps support Surfers Against Sewage 

Wilma: 8 Eco-Friendly Phone Cases to Protect Your Phone

6. wilma  

  • Made from corn-based bioplastic 
  • Certified biodegradable by European Standard 
  • Donates $1 of every sale to various ocean conservation projects 
  • Plastic-free packaging 

Reveal: 8 Eco-Friendly Phone Cases to Protect Your Phone

7. reveal 

  • Made out of bamboo, hardwoods, and cork 
  • Vegan and cruelty-free 
  • For every product sold, they plant a tree in an endangered forest 

A Good Company: 8 Eco-Friendly Phone Cases to Protect Your Phone

8. a good company 

  • Made from plants 
  • Compostable 
  • Take back program with A Good Loop system 
  • One tree planted with every order 
  • Climate neutral shipping 
  • B Corporation 

So, what do you think of these eco-friendly phone cases? Let me know your favorite in the comments below!

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