The Switch

Protect Your Phone and the Ocean With Pela's Plastic-Free Cases

Meet Pela, the eco-friendly phone case brand that’s cutting down on ocean plastic and protecting your phone at the same time.
Posted on
January 11, 2022
Protect Your Phone and the Ocean With Pela's Plastic-Free Cases

Something you should know about me: Climate change is constantly on my mind.

Not always in a depressing way—mostly in a how-can-I-do-something way. And I’m always trying (sometimes failing) to do my part for the planet while also living my best life—and simultaneously wondering where the balance lies. You know how it goes.

Living that low-waste lifestyle

I also happen to spend my 9 to 5+ at an environmental startup. So I’ve become acutely aware of things I can do to reduce my carbon footprint. That intel keeps me accountable, and drives my desire to find simple workarounds that satisfy my aesthetic while meeting my ecological needs.

Pela phonecase
Pela phone case

We can probably all agree that being sustainable has come a long way from hoarding yogurt containers for leftovers. (Though, this habit is still a good one.)

It’s chic (and responsible) to be low-waste now. Bamboo and glass live rent-free in our cupboards, and pretty metal straws and beeswax wraps in fun patterns are our lunchtime sidekicks.

Introducing your new favourite eco-friendly phone case brand

I am obsessed with Pela products, and with their vision of a waste-free future.

I’m constantly wowed by all the eco-friendly companies that are showing up with quality products. And this is what I really want to tell you: I am obsessed with Pela products, and with their vision of a waste-free future.

Why reducing plastic matters

You know about plastic straws and saving the turtles, but have you zoomed in to see how much plastic is floating in our oceans?

A truly appalling 10 million tons finds its way there every year, harming marine life, birds and the entire ecosystem. In the past decade we’ve produced more plastic than in the whole 20th century and it’s a consumerism trait that is, frankly, gross.

In the past decade we’ve produced more plastic than in the whole 20th century.

Sure, it’s things like “disposable” plastic bags and those little holsters connecting your soda cans.

Over 1 billion phone cases are produced each year

But it’s also the stuff we buy in excess, like multiple phone cases (little-known fact: over 1 billion cases are produced every year) and other accessories that can’t be recycled. (Even at its best, plastic’s not so recyclable—not like glass and aluminum.)

We upgrade our phones at a rapid pace, too, which increases material demand. So try not to get overly excited about that shiny new launch, or to lose your device on vacation just to have it languish forever in a saltwater grave.

Manatees can't text, after all.

Pela phone accessories
Pela accessories

How is Pela good for the environment?

I was drawn to Pela because they aren’t shy about setting lofty goals.

Their long game is a completely waste-free world. Shorter term? To prevent 1 billion pounds of plastic from ever being made. Developing useful, sustainable products and cultivating a global community that feels inspired and supercharged to reduce plastic is the moving game piece.

Pela's short term goal is to prevent 1 billion pounds of plastic from ever being made.

They make other phone accessories too

Pela’s cornered the market on phone accessories (for both iPhone and Android users) by engineering protective, eco-friendly cases that aren’t hard on the eyes. We’re talking about the world’s first compostable phone cases, smart watch bands, AirPods cases and various accessories.

What are Pela cases made out of?

Pela uses compostable material: recycled matter, flax straw fibr from oilseed and plant-based biopolymer, which gives them their unique sort of speckled bowling ball vibe.

They have a huge range of colors and designs to choose from

In classic designer fashion, I choose black nine times out of 10, but they’re also stacked with an assortment of bright colors and limited-edition patterns.

Bonus round: If you’re fancy, you can get a case that’s laser engraved, or one with a card holder in the back.

Will a Pela case protect your phone?

These babies aren’t slacking off while on the clock, either.

They protect your phone from bumps and falls. Yes, even the screen. (I should know from the approximately 10,000 times mine has aggressively met the floor after the kid downstairs shrieks—usually regarding a Hatchimal—or tumbled from my lap when I stand up after an incredibly engrossing episode of Ozark.)

It’s not an officially sanctioned use, but I can confirm that when flipped over, the Pela case makes a great coaster for my fourth coffee of the day at 10 a.m.
Pela phone case
Pela phone case

How do you dispose of your old Pela case?

Something else that’s cool is that Pela will take their products back (and your old plastic cases, too) if you need help disposing of them properly. They measure their carbon footprint and purchase offsets to make the company carbon neutral. Oh, plus a small percentage of their profits get donated to environmental organizations. Clearly I’m a Pela fan, but they’re not the only company producing planet-minded phone gear. I hear good things about Nimble and the Organicore by Incipio, too.

It’s the little things, you know?

Small, sustainable choices have an impact

One small, consciously minded lifestyle step can put you on the path to making more and more sustainable choices. Be that sustainable tumbleweed you want to see in the world, or something? And anyway, I’m always down to support the companies putting in the work.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, Zoom meetings call, and I really need the coffee “coaster” that I’m currently typing on.  

Prices vary. See more at and follow them on Instagram at @pelacase.

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Victoria Beretta
Written By
Victoria Beretta

Victoria Beretta is a climate optimist, designing and spreading the word of sustainability at Goodside.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada, RBC Ventures Inc., or its affiliates.

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