Image by Reveal
Image by Pela
After dropping my trusty iphone 6 (sans cover), I took a dive into the world of phone cases and found the most eco friendly phone covers for those butter fingers Image by Casetify #ecofriendlyphonecases #sustainablephonecases #sustainablejungle
Image by CASETiFY

11 Eco Friendly Phone Cases for a Sustainable Cell


I’ve had a great track record for looking after my cell phones. Never lost them, never dropped them.

But as they say, nothing rose-gold lasts forever. 

After years of good luck, my trusty iphone 6 (sans cover) hit the dance floor.

To prevent the unsustainable habit of replacing more cracked screens, I decided it was time to be a little more conscientious and buy an eco friendly phone case.

To help those of you on a similar hunt, we’ve created this list of the best biodegradable phone cases, compostable phone cases, and recycled phone cases.

Hold the phone!

If you’re in a rush for mobile protection, Pela Case’s biodegradable alternatives are some of the best eco friendly phone cases for the widest variety of models.

For colors, customization, AND composability, you can’t go wrong with A Good Company.

If natural is more your shtick, click down to Reveal’s vegan sustainable wood phone cases or Skate4Create’s recycled skateboard deck phone covers.

For more on how we decided which materials make for the best sustainable phone cases, scroll to the end of the article. 

*This post contains affiliate links

QUICK LINKS FOR THE BEST ECO FRIENDLY PHONE CASES

Biodegradable Phone Cases

Compostable Phone Cases

Recycled Phone Cases


Biodegradable Phone Cases

1. PELA CASE

Image by Pela
Pela Case’s Biodegradable Phone Case

Pela Case has become the biggest name in the realm of eco friendly cell phone cases.

No wonder, since their cases fit just about every phone made in the last ten years. That includes every model of iPhone 5-13, Samsung Galaxy S8-S21, Google Pixel 3a-6 Pro, Huawei P50 and P50 Pro, and OnePlus 9.

The Pela phone case is made of Flaxstic, a compostable bioplastic elastomer made from leftover flax straw.

Watch how it’s made. 

This material is not only free from BPA, phthalates, and heavy metals, but it meets the child safety standards of all major developed countries. 

While certified biodegradable as per U.S. and European standards, these cases are not certifiably home compostable. They take 6 months to 2 years to fully break down depending on the heat and moisture, though industrial composters will do the trick pronto. 

Alternatively, mail your old or unwanted cases back through the Pela Cycle program so they can be remade into future cases (and for a 20% discount on your next order). 

These cases may look slim, but the soft and flexible (or should we say flaxible?) material is really shock absorbent. I use Pela Case now and can only say positive things.

Aside from the fact that these cases are available for most phone models out there, there’s also a ton of variety in color and design and even etched graphics. 

Just note that because the material is porous, it can absorb potent dyes, such as dark wash denim when placed in the pockets of your sustainable jeans.

About Pela Case

Pela Case was founded by Canadian Jeremy Lang. Raised in Saskatchewan (basically the home of flax), he saw how the wasted flax straw left over after harvests was burned.

So he came up with the idea of turning flax waste into a useful product.

While Pela tries to keep as much of their supply chain local in Canada (like their Saskatchewan engraver and injection molder), they do outsource some operations to ethical, fair wage factories in Hong Kong.

Each Pela phone case not only creates fewer CO2 emissions than traditional phone cases, but have so far kept more than 290,461 pounds of plastic from being produced. See their Impact Report for more cool stats.

As a 1% for the Planet member, Pela gives back by donating at least 1% of their sales to clean ocean initiatives such as Surfrider, Save the Waves, and Oceana.

Their Pay it Forward referral program donates $3 to various charities on behalf of the person who made the referral.

Available: Pela Case 


2. WAVE CASE

After dropping my trusty iphone 6 (sans cover), I took a dive into the world of phone cases and found the most eco friendly phone covers for those butter fingers Image by Wave #ecofriendlyphonecases #sustainablephonecases #sustainablejungle
Image by Wave Case
Wave Case’s Biodegradable Phone Cases

If you love minimalist aesthetics and vibrant colors, Wave Case makes the best biodegradable phone cases in the UK.

Each case is made of wheat straw, PLA, and PBAT—all biodegradable materials.

While slim enough to slide in your pocket (with wireless charging compatibility), the corner bumpers, raised edges, and grippy texture will ensure your phone ain’t going nowhere.

They’re available for most phone models (iPhones 6-13, including Pro and Max sizes, and Samsung Galaxy A12, A32, A52, A72, S20, S20 FE, S20 Ultra, S20+, S21, S21 Ultra, and S21+).

About Wave Case

Wave Case is dedicated to diverting plastic pollution and turning it into a function and fashionable accessory.

While their mission is to “encourage the change we want to see in the world, one biodegradable phone case at a time,” they also make Airpod and Airtag cases and a few other accessories.

Each purchase helps support Surfers Against Sewage and comes delivered via plastic free, carbon neutral shipping, thanks to their friendship with Climate Partner.

Available: Wave Case


3. WILMA

Image by Wilma
Wilma’s Biodegradable Phone Cases

Wilma’s biodegradable phone cases are made entirely of corn-based bioplastic that’s certified biodegradable as per European Standards.

This means it’ll disintegrate in 12 weeks and fully biodegrade into only carbon dioxide and water within 6 months.

All these cases are bright-colored, bearing a turtle, manta ray, dolphin, sea horse, or whale graphic with the text “Stop Ocean Plastic Pollution”. 

If non-decorative is more your style, you can shop their solid-colored Essential Collection. All coloration is from eco-friendly caixia paint that passes SGS non-toxicity tests.

Their cases are mostly for newer phone models (iPhone 11-13 and Samsung S10) but there are still a few available for older iPhones 6, SE, 7, and 8.

About Wilma

Wilma is based in the largely ocean-surrounded country of Sweden.

No wonder they care about the state of the world’s oceans and donate $1 of every sale to various ocean conservation projects.

All packaging is plastic-free and is made of recycled cardboard printed with soy ink.

Available: Amazon


4. REVEAL

Image by Reveal
Reveal’s Cork Phone Cases

For a softer, more supple feel, Reveal makes eco friendly iPhone cases out of bamboo, hardwoods, and cork.

Reveal calls cork “the new leather” – their eco phone covers are vegan and cruelty-free. 

Some bear only the classic, all-natural grain look while others have an artsier twist. Reveal’s Nature Fusion Series takes tree burls and knots and blends them with brightly colored resin swirls.

While not every style fits all phone models, you can find eco phone covers for iPhone SE, 6, 6S, 7, 8, 8 Plus, XS, XR, 11, 12, and 13 (in regular and plus sizes).

If you’re looking for an eco friendly dust proof phone case, opt for their folio style cases instead, which have a full flip open screen cover and built-in stand.

About Reveal

Founded by Terry Omata, Reveal makes lots of other ethical electronics, too, like solar powered speakers (featuring recycled fabric speaker covers), bamboo Bluetooth keyboards, and carbon fiber earbuds. 

With their rePlant Program, they plant a tree through American Forests for every biodegradable phone case and accessory from their Nature Tech Collection.

Available: Amazon


Compostable Phone Cases

5. A GOOD COMPANY

After dropping my trusty iphone 6 (sans cover), I took a dive into the world of phone cases and found the most eco friendly phone covers for those butter fingers Image by A Good Company #ecofriendlyphonecases #sustainablephonecases #sustainablejungle
Image by A Good Company
A Good Company’s Compostable Phone Cases

The best eco friendly phone cases are climate positive, and that’s exactly what A Good Company delivers.

These “farm to case” compostable phone cases begin their journey at local organic linseed farms. Only farming byproducts are used.

All this is incredibly localized and the cases are made in Sweden, in a factory that reuses all water and runs on solar and hydropower.

Each one is 100% plant-based, Vegan Society-certified, and printed with water-based inks into lovely design patterns—some of which are created through partnerships with local artists.

At 1.2mm thick, they’re slim but protective, feature a screen-safe raised edge, and are available for just about every iPhone (6-13) and Samsungs A20, A30, A50, S20, and S20 Plus.

At end-of-life, you can either compost these cases at home or recycle them via the A Good Loop program and get a new one in exchange.

About A Good Company

This Swedish brand aims to “transform mindless consumption into conscious decisions” through their stationary, eco friendly pens, zero waste bathroom products, and reusables.

They ship plastic free, in bulk between warehouses (also sans plastic), and carbon offset their operations.

For every purchase you make, they donate 4% to A Good Foundation, which works with communities across the globe to create positive environmental change.

Read their impact report for more on A Good Company.

Available: A Good Company


6. CASETIFY

After dropping my trusty iphone 6 (sans cover), I took a dive into the world of phone cases and found the most eco friendly phone covers for those butter fingers Image by Casetify #ecofriendlyphonecases #sustainablephonecases #sustainablejungle
Image by CASETiFY
CASETiFY’s Compostable Phone Cases

CASETiFY’s compostable phone cases are made ecotify™, a blend of plant-based biopolymers and starch, and a bamboo particle texture finish.

They’re 100% compostable but will need to break down in an industrial environment. If you don’t have access to one, send it back to them for proper composting.

Speaking of sending back, their Re/CASETiFY cases are made of 65% recycled and plant-based materials from recycled phone cases. That means you can also recycle any old cell phone case through them.

The other 35% is currently virgin plastic but they aim to use 100% recycled plastic by 2026.

These BPA and phthalate-free cases fit all iPhones 7 onward and newer Samsung Galaxy models (S21, S21 FE, S21 Ultra, S21+, Note 20 Ultra, S20, S20 FE, S20 Ultra, S20+).

Some have built-in battery packs, too.

Each one comes with a drop distance rating—so you can buy the right case for however buttery your fingers are.

The best part about these eco friendly cases is the variety of colors and designs available (each printed with non toxic ink). Space Jam-themed compostable phone cases, anyone?!

About CASETiFY

CASETiFY makes a good case: for your cell phone, iPad, or Macbook, that is.

These cases are made in ISO14001-certified facilities that utilize rainwater collection and recycling systems.

Eco friendly shipping materials include just recycled and recyclable paper printed with soy ink.

They also know how to do good with each case since a portion of proceeds from different collections are donated to various charities, including Stop AAPI Hate, the Malala Fund, and more.

For every compostable phone case purchased, they plant one tree.

Available: CASETiFY


7. REBOXED

After dropping my trusty iphone 6 (sans cover), I took a dive into the world of phone cases and found the most eco friendly phone covers for those butter fingers Image by Reboxed #ecofriendlyphonecases #sustainablephonecases #sustainablejungle
Image by Reboxed
Reboxed’s Compostable Phone Cases

Reboxed’s eco phone covers are made from plant-based polymers and reclaimed wheat fibers, meaning they are 100% plastic free and fully home compostable.

Though they feature a slim, soft-touch design that’s compatible with wireless charging, they assure that their cases will protect against the slipperiest of fingers.

These plastic free phone cases are available for Samsungs S10, S10 Plus, S20, and S20 Plus, and iPhones X, XS, XS Max, XR, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, 12, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max.

Choose from a small selection of solid, bold colors.

About Reboxed

Reboxed wants to take a bite out of the 50 million tons of annual e-waste.

This “recommerce” company doesn’t just make compostable phone cases. They also sell refurbished iPhones, Samsungs, iPads, and Apple Watches and aim to recycle 100 million devices.

So if you’re wondering how to dispose of electronics (specifically your old phone), you can sell it to Reboxed to fund your new phone’s new case (and then some).

You’ll get the fair value for the actual working condition of your phone thanks to their TechCheck® app. Through it, they fully inspect, diagnose, and put a price on your phone before you commit to anything.

If you buy a refurbished phone, it comes with a 12-month buyback guarantee, a free phone case to keep it safe, and five trees planted. 

If you buy a phone case, one tree gets planted and 1% of the price gets donated to environmental organizations.

All items are mailed plastic free.

Available: Reboxed


8. WILD CASE

Image by WIld Case
Wild Case’s Bioplastic Phone Cases

Wild Case’s eco friendly biodegradable phone cases are made of corn starch PLA and bamboo straw.

This PBAT bioplastic is “biodegradable in the sense that it breaks down via microbes metabolizing all the carbon in the polymer”. 

In an industrial composter they’ll fully biodegrade in 90 days; in a home composter, it takes 12-24 months, meaning they’re not certifiably home compostable.

These subtle speckled cases feature a smooth, matte texture with just enough grippiness for those of us with butter fingers. The thin design fits in pockets without bulk and is compatible with wireless charging. 

Wild Case is available for iPhones (6, 7, 8, SE, XR, 11, 11 Pro, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max) and Samsung Galaxy (S20, S20 Pro, S20 Ultra, S21, S21 Pro, S21 Ultra).

About Wild Case

Aside from donating 5-10% of every sale to The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, this UK based sustainable phone case brand mails every UK/EU order in a cardboard envelope with a kraft paper package of wildflower seeds. 

Protect your phone and plant flowers! 

Unfortunately, customs restrictions prevents this service offering outside of Europe. 

Available: Etsy


Recycled Phone Cases

9. SKATE4CREATE

Image by Skate 4 Create
Skate4Create’s Recycled Skateboard Phone Cases

We love phone cases made from sustainable or recycled materials, and with Skate4Create you get both.

They sustainable phone cases out of upcycled 7ply Canadian maple skateboard decks. This is combined with a black polycarbonate bumper, which needs to be removed in order to compost the rest. 

These otherwise compostable phone cases are mostly for iPhones (XS Max, XR, XS, X, 12, 11 Pro Max, 8 Plus, 7 Plus, 13 Pro, 7, 8, 6s, 6, and SE) but a they offer a few for Samsung as well (Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, S9, S9 Plus, S10, S10 Lite, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra).

Even if you’re not a skateboarder, these cases bear unique and colorful stripes and striations amid the natural wood grain.

This effect comes from skateboard manufacturers dying each layer of wood a different color.

About Skate4Create

Shop owner and creator Dominykas Kelmelis is an avid skateboarder living in Vilnius, Lithuania. He founded this small shop to bring together his passion for skateboarding, recycling, and art.

Phone cases aside, he also makes skateboards into jewelry and other accessories. 

Dominykas makes everything himself in Vilnius, and sources most materials locally from friends, skate shops, and skate parks. Depending on supply, he’ll branch out to greater Europe. 

Available: Etsy


10. VELO CULTURE

Image by Velo Culture
Velo Culture’s Recycled Rubber Phone Cases

Velo Culture’s Soft Cell™ plastic free phone sleeves have thousands of 5-star reviews on Etsy, and we can see why.

Their design is one-of-a-kind; made from upcycled bicycle inner tubes, all cases are unique because “each puncture tells a story”. 

Don’t worry, they’re scrubbed clean with an eco friendly cleaning product.

The rubber body not only provides natural cushioning but water resistance, too, as tested by cyclists on the rainy roads of England where the cases are made.

A good option for outdoor activity lovers.

These eco friendly cases also feature a soft lining made from used t-shirts purchased from a charity shop (so the phone can slide in and out with ease), a velcro closure, a sustainable credit card slot, and accent stitching in the thread color of your choice. 

About Velo Culture

Velo Culture is a UK based brand that specializes in recycling bicycling (re-bicycling?) bits into wallets, pencil, totes, belts, and jewelry (like earrings made of recycled brake cables).

Shop owner Bev Martin had always been passionate about both accessorizing and cycling, but it took losing her job to give her the push she needed to put the two together.

She collects unwanted or broken bicycle parts from other cyclists and bike shops around the UK. 

Available: Etsy


11. NIMBLE

Image by Nimble
Nimble’s Eco Friendly Phone Cases

Available for iPhone models 11, 12, and 13, Nimble makes recycled plastic phone cases.

Some are made using 100% recycled PET plastic bottle base combined with an organic hemp finish to give the case a grippy, fabric texture. 

Others are made of recycled plastic in the form of recycled CDs.

So if you’re wondering when Backstreet Boys are back, maybe Nimble can answer that question.

Choose between two designs: their standard solid colors or their bi-color card holder cases, which feature black wave bottom and a deep, rich colored upper accent block. Even the card holder cases are slim but protective. 

Other Nimble products include phone charging accessories, made of the same recycled materials as their cases, like recyclable aluminum, cornstarch and sugarcane-based bioplastic.

About Nimble

“Designed for good in California” and manufactured in China, Nimble holds a host of certifications that uphold these factories to the highest ethical standards. 

They’re a certified B-Corp, a registered Public Benefit Corporation, and a member of 1% for the Planet.

Instead of just 1%, they donate 5% of each sale to a different environmental charity, including the Coral Reef Alliance, Seabin Foundation, Wildcoast, Carbon Fund, and Sea Save Foundation. 

And since their products use minimal virgin plastic, their packaging is plastic-free, and they ship via UPS from either California or Kentucky.

Their #TechForGood philosophy means “Nimble is committed to not only reducing our environmental impact through smarter production means and materials, but by encouraging the entire Nimble Community to help reduce the amount of eWaste and plastic ending up in our landfills.” 

To that end, they offer both a phone case recycling program through Terracycle and a general eWaste recycling program though Homeboy Electronics Recycling, a data secure certified recycling organization.

These programs are for any brand case or unwanted eWaste, not just Nimble products. 

Available: Nimble


THE CASE FOR GETTING A SUSTAINABLE PHONE CASE

First off, what’s all the buzz about sustainable phone cases?

Yes, pun intended. And no, the buzz isn’t your phone vibrating.  

The tech industry as a whole has major problems. Our growing consumption is a much larger problem, and it’s high time we call out tech companies for their flimsy designs and planned obsolescence. 

What we need is to adopt a slow tech philosophy, one that prioritizes quality devices built to last (and not just until the next software update). One that emphasizes repairing over replacing, and function over (fast) fashion.

It’s time we stop phoning it in and put some real effort into making ethical electronics. The easiest place to start is with accessories.  

Even though cell phone companies have all but done away with two-year contracts, the average person still upgrades their cell phone every 22 months. In 2019, we globally purchased over 1.5 billion new phones. 

Every upgrade means new accessories like chargers and, for 79% of American cell phone owners (or 186 million people), phone cases. Since we love variety, usually it means two or three phone cases we can change out depending on the day’s mood.

When we upgrade phones, all these primarily plastic cases find their way to landfills, where they take hundreds of years to break down. Even then, they only break down into smaller microplastics that then get washed into the world’s waterways and oceans. These microplastics get consumed by fish, which in turn get consumed by us. [Phone] case in point.

Phone cases may be a tiny step toward making the tech industry more sustainable, but it is a step, nonetheless, which is all sustainable living is… making small steps that collectively add up to great distances.


HOW WE CHOSE THE BEST SUSTAINABLE PHONE CASES

Hey Siri, what makes a phone case sustainable?

Phone cases are a bit like clothing accessories, so it seems appropriate that we judge them with similar criteria as the fashion industry. 

Namely, we want to see companies making a sustainable product as well as operating sustainably.

The most important thing to consider for a phone case is what it’s made with, which determines its end-of-life outcome.

The best eco friendly phone cases are those which will safely biodegrade and return to the earth in a reasonable amount of time. Most plastic phone cases on the market will take hundreds of years to break down, and even then, they’ll leave plenty of toxic residues.

We broke up our list into three main categories of eco friendly materials for sustainable phone cases.

Bioplastics:

Short for biodegradable plastics, these are plastic-like cases made from plant-based fibers. The most common types are made from corn starch, wheat, and bamboo.

While these break down faster than plastic, they don’t break down as fast as purely natural materials.

Pela has a good quick summary on what you should know about compostable plastics, and it’s important to remember that just because a plastic is compostable doesn’t necessarily mean you can toss it in your backyard bin.

Read up on the differences between biodegradable and compostable before buying one of these cases.

Natural materials:

For those trying to live a zero waste lifestyle, this make for the best eco friendly phone cases.

This category includes a variety of organic materials, all of which are fully compostable, provided they aren’t coated with something toxic or combined with something non-biodegradable:

Bamboo:

Bamboo fabric has been getting lots of buzz, both positive and negative and many people are asking, “Are bamboo phone cases sustainable?

As with most things made of bamboo, the answer depends.

As long as it’s sustainably harvested from well-managed forests that don’t contribute to the endangerment of animals (namely pandas), then yes, the type of bamboo used in phone cases is sustainable. 

It doesn’t require toxic plasticizers (as bamboo derived viscose fabrics used in clothing production does) and is a fast-growing, minimally water consumptive crop.

Hardwoods:

Look for those either sourced from reclaimed lumber, storm-damaged or diseased trees, or that come from responsibly managed forests. A Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certification can help you pick out these companies.

Cork:

In case you missed the memo in one of our other articles like this one on sustainable fabrics or this one about eco friendly sneakers, we’ll quickly remind you why cork fabric is awesome.

Not only is it totally compostable, but renewable since cork is harvested by shaving bark from cork trees, a process that can be repeated every decade or so.

This process even helps fight climate change because each time the tree has to regrow its bark, it consumes CO2 to do so! 

Recycled materials:

While these are often still plastic, they’re making use of plastic waste already polluting our planet and oceans. They’re making something good out of something bad.

We can’t take the plastic back, so we might as well make the damage it’s done a bit more worth it. Recyceld plastic phone cases do just that.

Be sure to also pay attention to other components, like bumpers and lining material. Bumpers, for instance, can be made of lots of things like rubber and TPE. If it’s natural rubber, it can be composted, but if not, you’ll still have to disassemble the case.

It’s ultimately our responsibility as consumers to ensure safe disposal.

Buying a biodegradable case won’t do much good if we just toss it in the trash anyway. Even the best compostable materials will decompose anaerobically in a landfill (as opposed to the aerobic composting process), which produces just as many greenhouse gases as standard plastics.

What about screen protectors?

If you’re the type of person that manages to drop their phone perfectly face down and shatter their screen even with a case, you might want to double your protection with a screen protector. 

Instead of getting a flimsy plastic one (which really only protects against scratches anyway), invest in a tempered glass screen protector. These are far more crack-resistant, and they are fully recyclable.


FINAL THOUGHTS ON ECO FRIENDLY & BIODEGRADABLE PHONE CASES

No one likes replacing their phone. Nor do they like deciphering a text message through a shattered screen.

Switching to an environmentally friendly phone case will not only save on case waste, but on tech waste too, as they greatly extend the life of your phone (something I found out a little late)! 

A win for your eco friendly wallet and the planet. 

We’d like to take a quick moment to point out that if you have a functional phone case, don’t replace it if you don’t need to.

Phone cases have become a bit like fashion accessories, so we should exercise a little minimalism and use what we already have. After all, the best sustainable phone cases are those that already exist.

If you know someone who has butter fingers, consider sharing this list with them. The longer we can keep our phones alive, the less we’ll be contributing to e-waste. 


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