Protecting your phone with a case is a smart thing to do. Even smarter is to use an eco-friendly phone case that has a minimal environmental impact. When you use sustainable phone cases, you are not only protecting your fragile phone. You are also protecting the earth.
Over 6 billion people around the world use smartphones2. Considering how easily damaged and expensive phones are, a phone casing is needed to offer some kind of cushioning protection in an instance of a fall.
These days most phones come with a casing that might protect against a few knocks but may not offer adequate protection from dropping your phone onto a hard surface; as such, many buyers of new and expensive phones seek out a durable option almost immediately. While doing its job as a protector, the phone case endures all kinds of strain that leads to wear and tear. The average consumer usage span of a phone is less than 24 months1 as the tech industry churns out the latest options, which is how long an average phone case may last.
Today, thanks to innovative efforts, we have phone cases made from sustainable materials that can be renewed, unlike fossil fuels used to make plastic. The pioneers of more eco-friendly plastic-free phone cases construct these environmentally friendly alternatives from materials like bamboo, cork, and plastic waste. The best of these uses natural organic materials to biodegrade and avoid using new plastics, often taking post-consumer plastic waste out of the system and recycling it as an added benefit.
Here’s a list of some of the best eco-friendly phone cases
Eco-friendly phone cases are good for the environment; from production to disposal, they have little or zero environmental impact. Below we’ve carefully assessed all the essential information that you will find helpful when choosing the best biodegradable phone case for you.
Material: plant-based polymer, flax straw waste
Sustainable qualities: climate-neutral, recycled materials, compostable
Phone model: iPhones, Samsung, Huawei, Google Pixel, Oneplus
The Pela phone case is a pioneer of stylish and desirable eco-friendly phone cases and lays claim to producing the first biodegradable phone case. The beautiful phone cases are handmade in Canada. Their flexible range of choices comes in both plain and graphic designs. The case is cut precisely around the buttons and ports. It also has a wrap-around edge that provides extra protection for the screen area.
Pela makes their phone cases from Flaxstic, a material created from the combination of flax straw and bioplastic elastomer. The material meets child safety standards in Canada, the US, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. It does not contain any lead, BPA, cadmium, or phthalates. You can add old Pela cases to your home compost bin or send them out for industrial composting when they come to the end of their useful life.
Pela also offers phone case accessories that improve the functionality of the cases offering a cardholder and phone grip that attaches to the phone case. Additionally, the brand offers to repair broken phone screens if the accident happens while protected by a pela case and screen guard.
The phone case and the entire company is carbon neutral. The brand achieves this by buying carbon offsets. Pela cases produce 80% less waste, use 34% less water and release 30% less carbon dioxide.
The pela brand makes it super easy to dispose of your old phone case sustainably. They will simply do it for you. All you have to do is mail it to them via Tradesies. They will compost or recycle it based on the type and condition of the material.
We love a brand that gives back to the community. Pela is a member of the One 1% for the planet organization and has donated $536,196 so far to support environmental protection organizations.
Material: plant-based polymers, reclaimed wheat fiber
Sustainable qualities: compostable, plastic-free,
Phone model: iPhone 7, 8, 12, 11 pro, X, XS, and Samsung S series
Reboxed is an eco-friendly brand that sells phones and phone accessories. The eco-friendly phone cases are slim but sturdy one-piece designs. And that takes away the stress of assembling it. The cases are durable and allow easy charging as they do not obstruct the required port. They don't disrupt magnetic or wireless charging as well.
Reboxed phone cases are minimalist designs but come in many colors to satisfy different preferences.
They use material made from reclaimed wheat fiber and biopolymers to produce the phone cases. The material is 100% biodegradable. In addition, they make their packaging from SGS-certified paper. Furthermore, the brand will plant a tree for every eco-friendly phone case it sells. It also donates 1% of all its profits to organizations that work to improve the environment.
Reboxed phone cases are completely plastic-free, from production to packaging. One phone case saves the equivalent of 27 plastic bags from the landfill. The brand also has a unique buy-back policy that rewards customers with an extra $10 for their Reboxed phone case when they sell back old phones along with the case.
We love that Reboxed gives out free eco-friendly cases to customers who buy phones from them. That is such a smart way to get people to try out eco-friendly cases for the first time, and for returning customers, it is a pocket-friendly incentive to keep using eco-friendly phone cases. If you’re in the market for a new phone, you can also consider reboxed for reused devices, complete with an eco-friendly phone case.
Material: cork, wood filler
Sustainable qualities: locally manufactured, recycled phone cases, sustainable material
Phone models: Samsung, Huawei, OnePlus, LG, Google, Motorola, and iPhones
Tech21 designs vary from slim artistic colorful prints to plain, clear cases. They have a range of phone cases, and each type has qualities that make it distinct from the others. They offer recycled, antimicrobial, drop protection, and biodegradable phone cases.
The brand uses patented materials, FlexShock and FlexClear, made from composite materials like wood filler and cork. The super-strong material absorbs 90% more shock than regular cases. They also assure consumers that their phone cases do not shed microplastics.
The biodegradable phone cases can protect your phone from up to a 10ft drop. Tech21 tests the protective efficiency of each case independently at the national physical laboratory, in England. Tech21 builds its cases to resist UV light, so the color won’t fade or lose its initial qualities after a while. The antibacterial phone case kills off about 99% of microbes that attach to the phone.
Tech21 is one of the very few brands that make 100% recycled phone cases. Their Recovrd collection may be the first-ever phone case made from only recycled materials. The brand collects old phone cases and excess stock as raw materials for the collection. Drop protection for the recycled phone cases is about 8ft.
The packaging for the recycled phone case is free from plastic, which helps Tech21 cut back on 42 tons of plastic yearly.
Material: Agro waste from maize
Sustainable qualities: renewable materials, compostable
Phone model: iPhone and Samsung
Eco fashion by Wilma is a phone case collection made entirely from renewable materials. Each case features an environmental-themed design. The phone cases have raised edges that provide extra protection for the camera and screen. They are compatible with every wireless charger.
Wilma uses a fermentation process to extract cornstarch and cellulose from waste gathered in maize production. The material looks and feels like plastic but is more durable. The material produces a 100% compostable phone case that will break down in a backyard compost bin.
The eco-friendly phone case brand donates 1% of the profits on every case it sells to charities and environmental organizations. The brand also has a special ‘oceans’ collection. It donates a dollar for each phone case sold from this collection to organizations working to protect the oceans.
Material: lavender, wood, wheat straw, PBAT bioplastic, flax straw
Ethical and sustainable qualities: recycling, agro-waste materials,
Phone model: iPhone models only
All-natural and sweet-smelling phone cases are what Europe-based Mmore offers. Every one of the eco-friendly phone cases gives off a noticeable, pleasant smell. The smell is not permanent and lasts for three months at the longest. They also have an antiviral phone case that has a self-disinfecting property. The antiviral phone case is safe for the skin and contains zero toxins.
Mmore phone cases allow magnetic charging and are compatible with Magsafe. With slightly raised edges, the cases protect not just the phone's body but the screen and camera as well. The slim, lightweight cases come in plain, floral, and engraved designs. They make the alpine hay phone case from real grass coated with sugar-based resin.
The plastic-like phone case goes through a nontoxic production process certified by the SGS. They use FSC-certified wood, lavender, a plant-based plastic, flax, and wheat straw. The wood is coated with natural oil to give it a shiny appearance and make it water-resistant.
Mmore offers minimalist zero-plastic packaging. The packaging is recyclable as well.
Mmore has a recycling program aimed at post-consumer waste. They take back old cases from their customers and recycle them. Since they make cases from a combination of plastic and biodegradable materials, they separate the plastic to be converted to fuel and send the natural materials to decompose in a landfill.
Also, in a partnership with Arbor Day Foundation, the brand plants a tree for each product it sells.
Material: wheat straw
Sustainable qualities: plastic-free, biodegradable
Phone models: iPhone 6-12, iPhone X, XS, XR, Samsung Galaxy
Made with wheat straw, the wave phone case will protect your phone from scratches and color fading. However, it does not provide much in the way of drop protection.
Wave case presents no barriers to magnetic charging and has precise buttons and hole cuts. The phone case has a smooth, even surface with no shine or glossy feeling. The matte texture allows a firmer grip.
The wave case is a biodegradable phone case. It is non-toxic and will break down into naturally occurring minerals in the soil. You may send it back to the company or an industrial composting site to dispose of a wave case.
Wave delivers eco phone covers in recyclable plastic-free packaging. They use recycled cardboard mailers secured with paper tape.
Wave also encourages the proper disposal of old phone cases. They offer a 20% discount on a new case when customers return the old cases to them.
We also love that the brand makes laudable efforts to participate in humanitarian projects in their locality. They are a member of the marine conservation charity, Surfers Against Sewage.
Material: recycled ocean plastic
Ethical and sustainable qualities: recycled material
Phone model: iPhone 11, X, XS,
Ocean75 makes eco-friendly phone cases from recycled fishing nets. The UK-based brand collects discarded fishing nets from oceans all over the world. The recycled net makes up 90% of the material used to make Ocean75 cases.
The back of the phone case has a bumpy wave design reminiscent of its origin. The de-bossed texture might make it hard to attach adhesive phone case accessories. You can get the Ocean75 phone case in just four colors, black, blue, grey, and coral pink.
The brand packages its phone cases in FSC-certified recycled cardboard to help make each phone case eco-friendly, from what’s inside to the packaging it arrives in.
You can recycle an Ocean75 case through the plastic recycling stream or send it back to the company. Recycling the old phone cases is very important because the plastic is not biodegradable and may contain some toxins. Therefore you should not toss them in the trash indiscriminately.
This brand is making the ocean cleaner and safer by taking out fishing nets abandoned in the waters. They are also passionate about giving back to the earth. Ocean75 donates $1 to any of the five ocean conservation organizations it partners with. Were you to have a preference, the brand also allows customers to choose which charity to contribute to.
Sustainable qualities: biodegradable material,
Phone model: iPhone
As a frontline environmentally friendly brand, A Good Company makes stylish, sustainable products, and their compostable phone case is no exception. The brand only produces iPhone cases, however.
The phone covers are 1.2mm thick. It is not bulky and protects from scratches and cracks. The sustainable phone cases are compatible with MagSafe. It has raised edges that offer some screen protection. The phone cases come in a range of plain and trademarked artistic designs.
A good company makes its phone case with pelts made from excess linseed harvested from a local farm in Sweden. The cases are 100% organic, and you can compost them at home. For packaging, they use a stone paper box and nothing else.
The B corporation-certified brand is carbon negative. Each phone case is certified by the Vegan Society.
We love when people recycle old stuff instead of landfilling them, and so does A Good Company. The brand will reward a customer who brings back an old phone case with 5 Euros as credit towards buying a new one.
Material: walnut wood, bamboo,
Sustainable qualities: compostable, non-toxic
Phone model: iPhone 6-12, X, XR, XS, Samsung Galaxy S, Huawei P30
Loam and Lore make compostable environmentally friendly phone case options from wheat straw, bamboo, walnut wood, and PBAT bioplastics. The bioplastic does not contain phthalates, cadmium, lead, or BPA.
The wooden phone cases are made from real walnut wood base and bioplastic wrap around edges for shock absorption. They design the bamboo phone case in the same way. All loam and lore phone cases are lightweight and slim. Wireless charging is not a problem with these phone cases.
Home composting a loan and lore bioplastic phone case takes up to 24 months. In industrial composting, it takes about 120 days—the phone cases ship in a no-frills Kraft paper box with no plastic tape. If you don’t like the compost option, you can dispose of the phone case with organic waste.
For every product sold, Loam and Lore will help fight climate change by planting a tree. They also give 5% of their profits to environmental charities.
Material: plant-based materials
Sustainable qualities: compostable
Phone model: iPhone models only
Nature offers customized eco-friendly phone cases. They give customers a choice between a standard, signature, statement, pictures, and art back design. The slim phone case provides shock protection as it saves your phone from scratches.
The phone case works great with wireless charging and is MagSafe compatible.
Natjure makes phone cases from an assortment of natural materials. They include wheat, carrots, rice, sawdust, soil, pepper, soybeans, and onions. The organic materials make Najture cases a readily biodegradable phone case, and they will decompose completely within 12 months.
All the printing is done with eco-friendly UV ink. No BPA, lead, phthalates, or cadmium are present in the phone case.
Najture will help you customize your phone case giving it both functional and sentimental value. They have also set up an initiative to help keep old phone cases off landfills. They call it Renajture. With this scheme, you can mail any old phone case to Najture, and they will either recycle or compost it. They reward participants with a 15% discount on their next purchase.
Together with One Tree Planted, the brand plants a tree for every product that it sells.
Material: leather, recycled plastic
Sustainable qualities: Recycled plastic
Phone model: iPhone 11-12, iPhone X series, Samsung S series, Samsung Note 20
Casetify presents an extensive choice of aesthetics with its phone eco-friendly phone cases. There is a design/color for every person and a selection of partially recycled plastic and leather phone cases.
The leather cases are cruelty-free and have a suede inner lining. They craft recycled PC cases with 50% recycled plastic and Qitech, a trademarked shockproof material. It offers at least 6.6ft drop protection.
The cases have an antibacterial coating that kills off about 99% of the germs your phone picks up. The antibacterial quality provides an extra layer of protection for you.
No plastic packaging here as Castify ships in recyclable and compostable paper. They also use eco-friendly soy ink for all their printing.
Casetify’s water usage is efficient and sustainable. They collect used rainwater in all of their production. The brand has an ISO certification for its sustainable production practices.
Casetify also has customization options available for customers. So you can get a phone case for a loved one, not just as a phone cover but as a reminder of how much you care.
Material: stone, wood, wheat and straw agro waste, silicone
Sustainable qualities: biodegradable, recyclable
Phone model: iPhone, Huawei, Samsung,
German brand, Woodcessories offers an extensive collection of vegan leather, stone, and wood phone cases. They are lightweight, flexible, and provide a 1.8m impact protection. They reinforce their stone and wood phone cases with IPU silicone for shock protection.
Some Woodcessories phone cases have multi-functionality. Some have a phone cover, and others feature a card pocket.
The phone cases are ultra-thin to allow MagSafe compatibility and wireless charging. The organic cases can keep phones intact at a drop of 5FT. They have raised frames that protect the screen and camera. And like most of the best eco-friendly phone cases on our list, Woodcessories cases have antibacterial properties. They are also certified by REACH for non-toxicity.
Woodessories wood comes from responsibly managed forests in the US and Germany.
They source classic vegan leather from wheat and straw. The phone cases are biodegradable under industrial conditions, but the brand encourages customers to recycle them instead.
Wood phone cases are a great deal better than plastic, but deforestation will quickly become a problem without responsible wood consumption. We love how Woodcessories gives back to nature by planting a tree for every case it sells.
When you send your Woodcessories case back to be recycled, the brand rewards you with a 30% voucher.
Material: bamboo fiber, PBAT,
Sustainable qualities: compostable case
Phone model: iPhone case only
This one is for the minimalists. Wild case phone cases have a simple and functional design.
Wild case makes biodegradable phone cases from bamboo fiber and biodegradable plastic polymer. The phone case is 100% biodegradable.
Raised screen rims on the case protect the camera and screen. The case has a smooth matte texture that supports a firm grip. Cleaning the case requires gentle scrubbing with a cloth or toothbrush and warm soapy water.
Wild case package phone cases in simple cardboard and Kraft paper envelopes. The biodegradable case is best sent to an industrial compost site or disposed of along with food waste.
To help increase the dwindling population of bees, Wild Case includes a pack of wildflower seeds for orders within the EU. Homeowners can encourage bees to visit their gardens, and protect biodiversity and their phone all at the same time. The brand also donates about 1-5% of its proceeds to an ocean conservation foundation.
Sustainable qualities: durable, biodegradable
Phone model: iPhone 5-12, iPhone X, XR, XS, Samsung note, s series,
Otto only makes wood phone cases. The cases are either engraved or printed with UV color. Customers can choose from over 800 designs. Otto cases are easy to use as they fit snugly and have widened charging ports and earphone holes.
Apart from walnut rose and cherry wood cases, otto also makes bamboo phone cases.
Otto cases have rubber bumpers to provide shock absorption. Tests done by the brand show that the phone cases can protect devices from a fall of 26ft. The cases have high edges for screen protection.
Otto phone cases come with a built-in magnet center and are compatible with magnetic chargers. Some otto case models have a sim card and pin storage compartment. It proves beneficial for people who travel a lot and have to switch to a local network provider.
Otto gives rewards to people who recycle old plastic phone cases through their recycling program. This program aims to recycle 1 million pounds of post-consumer plastic waste.
Material: plant materials
Sustainable qualities: biodegradable materials
Phone model: iPhone 11, 12, X, Samsung Galaxy
Uunique is a London-based mobile accessories brand. They have all kinds of accessories for cell phones, but the Eco Guard, a compostable phone case, is our favorite. It is a one-piece design. Eco Guard phone cases are soft but can protect your phone even from a 6ft drop.
The case has a slightly raised edge to provide some protection for the screen. It works great with wireless chargers.
Eco guard cases have no plastic in the product and packaging. They print their paper box packaging with soy ink, and it is compostable in a home bin.
Eco Guard is one of the few slim phone cases that provide high drop protection without being bulky. Also, its packaging is waste-free.
Material: carbon fiber, cork, bamboo, wood recycled fabrics
Sustainable qualities: natural materials
Phone model: iPhone cases only
Reveal’s makes sturdy cases from bamboo, walnut wood, and cork. The Reveal iPhone case is snug and slim, and it does not disrupt any functions of the phone. Some of the cases have a phone cover for the screen.
A customer favorite is an iPhone XR Japanese art cork phone case. The cork material is super sustainable as harvesting does not require the cutting down of trees. Another bestseller is the engraved walnut wood phone case made from real wood.
Reveal plants a tree for every sustainable phone case it sells. That way, they replace the forest resources they consume.
Sustainable qualities: recyclable,
Phone model: iPhone
For people who prefer an eco-friendly phone sleeve rather than a case, Velo has an environmentally friendly option. Velo looks towards an unconventional source for its raw materials. They use upcycled bicycle inner tubes to create their unique phone cases. Some of the phone sleeves even come with factory markings of the company that initially made them.
The rubber sleeve is lined with upcycled cotton to prevent scratches on your phone and secured with a velcro flap. The Velo phone sleeve is durable and won’t give off an overpowering smell of rubber.
Velo phone recycled rubber phone sleeves give a second to waste rubber tubes, helping to keep them away from landfills.
Material: recycled fishing net, aluminum scrap, plant-based materials
Sustainable qualities: 100% recycled
Phone model: iPhone,
Popsicase makes eco-friendly phone cases for eco-conscious sea lovers with eye-catching colors and designs inspired by the sea.
They make their best-selling Popsicase phone case from old fishing nets collected from fishermen around the Mediterranean ports. Popsicase recycles the nets into stylish phone cases. The eco-friendly iPhone cases feature a sliding handle made from scrap aluminum.
Popsicase also has a line of industrially compostable phone cases made using sustainable materials. The sustainable phone cases decompose within 12 months.
Popsicase is helping to reduce ocean plastic pollution by assisting fishermen in getting rid of old fishing nets in an eco-friendly way. If you are passionate about ocean conservation, choosing phone cases like Popsicase is a great way to support the agenda for plastic-free oceans.
The brand also offsets shipping emissions by promoting reforestation efforts in the Amazon.
As an individual who cares about the environment, you do not want to pollute it with plastic phone cases. It is better to use a phone case made out of sustainable or recycled materials.
We have put together this list of sustainable phone cases to help you choose a phone case that aligns with your zero-waste lifestyle.
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (2018) When it comes to smartphone lifespan, brand name matters more than hardware. Science Daily
O’Dea S. (2021) Smartphone users worldwide. Statista
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.