We’re living in a time where cell phones are the main form of communication, whether it’s through text messages, FaceTiming, Facebook or Instagram. And as smartphones increase in price and size, the urge to protect them from cracking on the sidewalk when you drop it is at an all-time high. But have you ever thought about the amount of plastic that is involved in it?
Jeremy Long, the co-founder of Pela Case, a sustainable phone case company based in Canada, is doing something about it. In 2011, Long created a proprietary material called Flaxstic™ with his other company Open Mind Developments (OMD) that specializes in biodegradable and compostable consumer products.
According to OMD, “Flaxstic™ is a combination of flax straw waste and biopolymers. The flax fiber and flax shive provide the biopolymers with a unique, eco-friendly appearance while maintaining the biodegradability, compostability and strength of the biopolymer.”
They’ve taken the waste from flax, a blue herbaceous plant cultivated for its seeds that’s common in Saskatchewan, Canada, breaking it down into bio composites — or, the resin of the fibre — and combined it with plant-based biopolymers and recycled materials.
“The biopolymers we use to make the Pela Case are plant-based and the manufacturing requires up to 50% less non-renewable energy and produces up to 60% fewer greenhouse gases than traditional plastic polymers,”according to Pela. As of now, Pela is the only company using Flaxstic™ in their products, yet there is room from growth.
“We are still in the early stages of growth, and as the demand continues to rise for our phone cases, we are using this time to truly consider each step of our process of getting quality products to our customers and how to cut waste wherever we want” says Pela co-founder Sunta Sem. “To remain ethically conscious as we grow is really important to us. It will not always be easy, but we believe the best we can do is to be as transparent as possible, so our customers know who and what they’re supporting.”
Pela is a team of nature-loving entrepreneurs, passionate about building businesses they can be proud to share with the world. They see every challenge as an opportunity to learn, grow and expand their perspectives.
Building an eco-friendly company is not an easy task, but at Pela they have made their goals clear and simple:
- Reduce the amount of plastic waste created by consumer products.
- Alleviate their dependency on non-renewable fossil fuels and oil-based plastics.
- Educate people about plant-based, sustainable alternatives that are both functional and beautiful.
- Build the kind of company their customers would be proud to rally behind.
“In the end, we’re just human like everyone else and trying our best to preserve the planet for our children and beyond. We don’t claim to be perfect in our efforts but we are always pushing ourselves to believe in better, to be better and to do better every single day. To us, that is when things begin to shift and where change is possible. Our Pela case is only the beginning.”
For those wondering if the case is going to break down in your sweaty pocket, the answer is no. The cases were specifically designed to only break down in a composting environment anywhere from 6 moths to 2 or 3 years. And if you do not have access to one at the end of your case’s life, you can mail the case back to Pela, they will dispose of it for you!