Are Pela Cases Really Compostable?
The Rise of Sustainable Phone Cases
In recent years, there has been a growing interest in sustainable products, with consumers seeking eco-friendly alternatives for everyday items. This trend has extended to phone cases, where environmentally conscious individuals are now considering compostable options. One popular brand that frequently comes up in these discussions is Pela Case. But are Pela cases really compostable?
Understanding Compostability and Biodegradability
Before delving into the specifics of Pela cases, it’s essential to clarify the difference between “compostability” and “biodegradability.” While both terms relate to how materials break down over time, they have distinct meanings.
Compostable materials are organic compounds that can decompose within a specific timeframe under controlled conditions while leaving no harmful residues behind. These materials contribute valuable nutrients to the soil during decomposition.
On the other hand, biodegradable materials break down naturally over time through enzymatic processes or bacterial action without causing harm to nature. However, unlike composting, which requires specific environmental conditions and microbial activity for efficient breakdown, biodegradation can occur under various circumstances.
Now that we understand these concepts let’s examine whether Pela cases meet the criteria for being truly compostable.
The Truth Behind Pela Cases’ Compostability Claims
Pela Case proudly advertises its products as 100% compostable phone cases made from plant-based materials such as flax straw waste and biopolymers derived from renewable resources like cornstarch. Let’s explore what this means in practice:
Pela cases primarily consist of Flaxstic®, their patented blend of flax straw waste combined with biopolymers derived from cornstarches or sugarcane resins. This unique combination aims to provide durability while minimizing environmental impact.
Pela Case has obtained certification from reputable organizations, such as the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) and TÜV Austria. These certifications ensure that Pela cases meet strict compostability standards, proving their ability to break down within industrial composting facilities.
Industrial Composting Conditions:
It’s important to note that compostable materials like Pela cases require specific conditions for efficient decomposition. They need exposure to high temperatures, moisture, oxygen, and a suitable microbial environment found in industrial composting facilities or municipal compost systems. Therefore, tossing your Pela case into a backyard compost pile may not yield the desired results.
Taking Care of Your Pela Case
To maximize the lifespan and potential for proper decomposition of your Pela case:
Avoid Extreme Temperatures:
Exposing your phone case to extreme heat or cold for extended periods can compromise its integrity and shorten its lifespan. It is best to keep it within a temperature range of -10°C (14°F) to 60°C (140°F).
Maintain Proper Hygiene:
Regularly clean your Pela case using mild soap or a natural cleaning solution. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners as they might damage both the material and any design printed on it.
Disposal at End-of-Life:
When you’re ready to part ways with your old Pela case, consider sending it back through their “Pela 360 Program.” This initiative allows you to return used cases directly so they can be properly processed by specialized recycling partners if industrial composting isn’t an option in your area yet.
In conclusion, yes—Pela cases are genuinely compostable when exposed to proper conditions found in industrial or municipal composting facilities. They meet strict certification standards and are made from a unique blend of plant-based materials. However, it’s crucial to understand that achieving optimal compostability requires specific environmental conditions. By properly caring for your Pela case throughout its lifespan and disposing of it responsibly, you can contribute to the sustainability cycle without compromising on style or protection for your phone.