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Several colors of Pela phone case on a white marble background
Pela

Pela Biodegradable Phone Case Review

SmarterTravel

If you’ve been researching ways to make your technology a little more eco-friendly, you’ve probably run across Pela. With both die-hard Pela fans and curious new customers on the SmarterTravel team, we decided to put their biodegradable phone cases to the test.

What is a Pela Phone Case?

While on a family vacation in Hawaii, Pela founder Jeremy Lang found himself faced with the true damage that plastic waste is causing to our oceans and environment. This set him on the path to develop Pela, a technology accessory company focused on sustainability. Under the ethos of ‘Everyday Products Without Everyday Waste’, Pela phone cases are made from Flaxstic®, a 100% compostable plant-based material. In addition to cases, Pela offers airpods cases, SmartWatch bands, and other tech accessories made from the same biodegradable materials.

Several colors of Pela phone case with attachable card holder on marble background
Pela

What Makes the Pela Case Different?

The primary feature that sets Pela apart from the crowd is their mission of sustainability. When thinking of ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle, our phone cases rarely come to mind as a major contributor to the plastic build up in the environment, but according to Pela, 1.5 billion phone cases are thrown away each year. In addition to their goals of reducing this number, Pela also makes efforts to reduce their upstream waste with 35% less water usage, 25% less carbon emissions, and 70% less waste production. 

Feeling guilty as you get ready to toss your old case? Pela will accept your old plastic cases as part of its Pela 360 initiative—just mail it back using the envelope provided with your purchase for upcycling or recycling. 

How Does the Pela Biodegradable Phone Case Measure Up?

Ease of Use: 10/10

After wrestling my phone out of its old, hard-plastic case, putting on the Pela case was like a breath of fresh air. It’s super flexible, so it goes on easy, but once it’s in place it feels secure. The case doesn’t add much (if any) extra bulk or weight to the phone.

Cost: 7/10

Pela’s phone cases start at around $30, with some patterns, colors, and sizes available at a higher price (the Green Google Pixel 2 case ran me $39.95 at the time of purchase). Overall, it’s more than I’d normally consider paying for a phone accessory. However, the ability to toss it in the compost pile instead of the garbage bin makes it worth the splurge. First-time buyers are offered a 10% discount at checkout, which was a pleasant surprise, as well as three personalized 40% off discount codes to share with friends.

Durability: 9/10

A member of the SmarterTravel team—a loyal Pela customer of three years—has only good things to say about Pela’s durability. When asked how frequently they’ve put the case’s protective qualities to the test (“more frequently than I would like to admit”), they maintain that the case is functional and fairly accident-proof. Although docked a point for some wear and tear at the end of its multi-year tenure, its lifetime seems to meet or exceed that of its plastic counterparts.

Pela Case Pros:

  • Eco-friendly and biodegradable
  • Wide variety of case options (16 models of iPhone and 24 models of Android)
  • Multiple color/design options
  • Made from flexible, easy to remove material

Pela Case Cons:

  • Price point
  • Not all colors/designs are available for all phone models

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