Are Pela Cases Really Compostable?

Introduction – Pela, The Plant-Based Plastic Phone Case

Are Pela cases really compostable? Phone cases are one of those things that people buy with new phones. Because new phone models come out all the time, there is a certain amount of disposal and renewal of phones that happens. The NY Times published figures from three sources that indicated smart phone life times have inched up slowly from 2.38 years to 2.92 years between 2016 and 2018.

The Pela company logo – they make compostable phone cases

That figures align pretty closely with the 2 year contract periods of smart phones. Because cases are designed to fit phones tightly, a new phone usually means a new case. Therefore, there is a certain amount of churn for phone cases that get bought and then thrown away. Reducing waste and carbon emissions and making this a closed-cycle process is the admirable mission of the Pela company.

Pela Cases Are Made From Plant-Based Plastics

Instead of using plastics which turn into air-borne carbon emissions, Pela claims to make compostable cases made from renewable bioplastics. This means that the plastic comes from a plant source, thereby making the carbon stay in a closed-loop of being the plant, in the phone, in the air, and absorbed back into a plant (not necessarily the same plant!).

The cases are supposed to be durable, eco-friendly, and look & feel just like traditional plastic phone cases. There should be nothing special about the composting process for the phone case. You can compost your Pela Case in your backyard compost bin or in commercial facilities that accept compostable plastics.

Meaning Of Compostable Vs Biodegradable

First it’s helpful to understand what compostability means. In essence, a product is compostable if it can break down into natural elements in a composting environment, leaving no toxicity behind. This process results in a nutrient-rich soil conditioner that has excellent benefits for plant growth.

It’s also worth distinguishing compostable from biodegradable, with the former being a subset of the latter. While all compostable materials are biodegradable, not all biodegradable materials are compostable since some might leave behind toxic residue or take an extremely long time to break down.

Are Pela Cases Really Compostable? 

The short answer is yes. Pela cases are made from a unique material they call “Flaxstic” made from plants.

They say:

[Flaxstic] is comprised of compostable bioplastic elastomer and flax straw materials.

Pela website

But more importantly, Pela’s phone cases have two certifications:

  1. ASTM D6400-04 Compliant: This is a certification from the United States indicating that the phone cases are compostable under commercial composting conditions. It means they break down without leaving any harmful residues in a designated timeframe when composted in commercial facilities.
  2. EN 13432 Certified: This is a European standard for compostability, similar to the ASTM D6400. It affirms that the phone cases can be composted in commercial facilities without causing harm to the environment.

For the average consumer, these certifications mean that Pela phone cases are designed with environmental sustainability in mind. When you’re done using your Pela case, instead of contributing to landfill waste or plastic pollution like traditional plastic phone cases, it can be composted at a commercial composting facility, where it will break down into natural components without harming the environment.

What about composting at home? These certifications are for commercial composting facilities, which have specific conditions (like higher temperatures and specific microbial activity) to ensure compostability. While the Pela case may break down over a longer period of time in a home compost pile or bin, the composting process may not be as efficient or effective as in a commercial setting. If you have access to a commercial composting facility, that would be the best place to compost a Pela case.

Once your Pela Case has decomposed, it will leave no trace of microplastics – unlike traditional plastic phone cases, which can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in the landfill.

As a result, Pela cases will eventually break down in a compost bin, but they will take longer to decompose than other organic materials.

are pela cases really compostable

That said, Pela cases are still a more environmentally friendly option than traditional plastic phone cases. Plastic phone cases can take hundreds of years to decompose and often end up in landfills or the ocean. Pela cases, on the other hand, will eventually break down and return to the soil.

And since they’re made from renewable materials, their production doesn’t contribute to pollution or climate change. So even though they’re not perfect, compostable phone cases are still a step in the right direction.

Evidence For Compostability: How Compostable Are Pela Cases Really?

To create an effective compost, you need 3 things: oxygen, moisture, and heat. When these ingredients are in the right ratios, they create an environment where microorganisms can thrive and break down organic matter. 

So, how long does it take for a Pela case to break down? We know that in a commercial facility its doable, but for a home composting bin, it depends on the conditions. Putting a Pela case in your backyard compost bin will probably take 12-24 months to break down fully. But if you put it in an industrial composting facility (which has ideal conditions for decomposition), it will only take 45-60 days. 

Pela cases are compostable – but only under the right conditions. If you want your Pela case to break down quickly, we recommend sending it to an industrial composting facility. And if you’re not sure whether your local facility accepts biodegradable/compostable products, just give them a call and ask!

Additionally, independent studies and user testimonials suggest that the cases can be composted at home, although the time and conditions required may vary significantly.

The Benefits Of Using A Pela Case Over A Traditional Phone Case 

When it comes to phone cases, there are a lot of options on the market. However, not all phone cases are created equal. Pela Cases are a new type of phone case that offer several advantages over traditional cases. For starters, Pela Cases are made from biodegradable materials, so they won’t end up in landfill like traditional plastic phone cases.

Furthermore, Pela Cases are designed to be fully recyclable, so you can feel good about your purchase even after you’re done with it. And because they’re made from plant-based materials, Pela Cases are also much more comfortable to hold and won’t cause your hands to sweat as some plastic cases can.

Plus, Pela Cases come in various style options to suit your personality, so you can express yourself while protecting your phone. So if you’re looking for a new phone case, check out Pela Case!

How To Properly Dispose Of A Pela Case?

Many people are unaware of how to properly dispose of a pela case. Pela cases are biodegradable plastic and will break down in a landfill. If you simply throw them into a landfill, they will not benefit from the compostable properties and will likely break down rather slowly. Instead they should be disposed of in a composting device, either at home or in a facility.

If you are looking to compost your Pela case at home, follow these steps:

  1. Break the case into smaller pieces to expedite the composting process.
  2. Place the broken pieces into your compost pile or bin.
  3. Ensure the compost pile has a mix of green (nitrogen-rich) and brown (carbon-rich) materials.
  4. Turn the compost pile regularly to help aerate it and speed up the decomposition process. The timeframe for decomposition can vary, depending on the specific conditions in your compost pile. It can take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years.

Alternatives To The Pela Case 

When it comes to phone cases, the options are endless. But if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, the pela case is a great choice. The pela case is designed to break down over time, reducing your environmental impact.

But what if you’re not ready to switch to a biodegradable case? Or what if you’re looking for something with a little more personality? There are plenty of alternatives to the pela case that suit your needs.

For example, the wood case from Grovemade is a stylish and sustainable option. It’s made from real wood; this case is durable and unique. Plus, it’s compatible with wireless charging, so you can keep your phone charged without harming the environment.

Consider a bamboo case if you’re looking for something even more environmentally friendly. Bamboo is a fast-growing grass that requires no pesticides or fertilizers to thrive. As a result, it’s much easier on the environment than traditional woods. Plus, the bamboo case offers a wide variety of bamboo cases that suit your style.

Finally, if you want both eco-friendly and stylish, check out Otterbox’s Strada Series Folio Case. It’s made from recycled materials, and this case features beautiful leather accents and a built-in screen protector. So you can protect your phone without sacrificing style or quality.


In conclusion, Pela Cases are an excellent eco-friendly option when it comes to phone cases. But if you’re looking for something with more personality, there are plenty of alternatives to the pela case. From wood and bamboo cases to stylish folio cases made from recycled materials, there’s sure to be an option that suits your needs. So don’t be afraid to explore the world of sustainable phone cases! You might just find your perfect match.

Staff Writer
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