Sustainability| 5 min read

Planet Partner Feature: Talking Zero Waste With Pela

Pela’s making more than phone cases — they’ve expanded their business and environmental impact.
WRITTEN BY Tayllor Henczel

Protecting the planet is a big job, but luckily we’ve got help. We’ve teamed up with some of our favourite Planet Partners to get you in the sustainable mindset and help us plant more trees than ever. Our Planet Partners are changing the way we think about everyday things like food and sports to protect the world we play in. With their help, and yours too, we’re looking to shake things up and get the world thinking a little greener, one environmental-ish step at a time.

Pela’s mission to create a waste-free future isn’t so different from ours. We’re both trying to make the world a better place, one environmental step at a time. By using sustainable technology and practices to create eco-friendly tech accessories (eyewear, personal hygiene and even pet products too!), Pela is reducing the world’s plastic production — one phone case at a time. Pela’s planting 10 trees for every case sold on their site between April 8-14, up to 150,000 trees.

Tune in as they talk about their breakthrough developments in sustainable tech and going zero waste.

 

Q: Tell us a little bit about PELA.

Pela’s a company on a mission to create a waste free future! Our goal? To keep 1 billion pounds of waste from ever being created by providing everyday alternatives without everyday waste!

 

Girl holding phonecase

 

Q: PELA has pioneered sustainability in the phone accessories industry. What has sustainability looked like practically for PELA? What are your sustainability goals for the future?

At Pela we’re proud to be living up to our social and environmental claims, whether that’s through our employee volunteering opportunities, certifications, or charitable giveback.

Pela is Climate Neutral Certified and a Certified B Corporation. Essentially what that means is that we don’t just say we’re measuring and reducing our impact, but we’re actually held accountable to the standards of these certifications. Plus, we’re members of 1% For The Planet — we donate 1% of all sales to charities registered through the platform.

In 2021 we’re working towards streamlining transportation routes using distribution centres in Canada and Europe, and we want to help our manufacturing facilities shift to renewable power sources and improve the efficiency of their operations!

Not only that, we want to continue to grow the Pela 360 program globally to decrease end-of-life waste. The Pela 360 program means you can ship us your old phone, whether it’s from Pela or not and we’ll ensure that case is turned into a new one, or gets properly recycled!

 

Q: While we know sustainability requires an everyday effort, Earth Month is a powerful time to amplify earth-first causes. How is PELA celebrating Earth Month?

To celebrate Earth month we’re returning to our big hairy audacious goal of keeping 1 billion pounds plastic from ever being made. To do this, we’re focusing on what each and every person can do to be #OneInOneBillion. Whether that means making sustainable swaps, reaching out to elected officials, or just asking questions about where their products come from. Everyone has the power to create change, no matter how small the action they are taking may seem. When you multiply our collective actions we can change the world!

 

Biodegradable phone case, airpods case, apple watch band

 

Q: Tell us more about your sustainable products! What inspired PELA to create their sustainable phone cases? How were they made and what are they made of?

It all started with Jeremy Lang, our founder. He saw first hand, the damage plastic was doing to our oceans while on family vacation in Kuwait in 2010. This inspired Jeremy to experiment with new materials to try and find an alternative to plastic that could be used in everyday products.

Growing up in Saskatchewan, he remembered seeing the fires at the end of the flax harvest and trying to think of ways that discarded material could be used. Eventually it all came together as “flaxstic” the compostable alternative that makes up our Pela products!

 

Q: What’s the impact of switching to a PELA phone case from a plastic one.

Getting a Pela Case will reduce carbon emissions by 24.6%, water consumption by 34.6% and waste production by 66.6%, when compared to a conventional phone case. If the Pela 360 program is taken into account, carbon emissions are reduced by 33.8%, water consumption by 35.4% and waste production by 79.6%.

 

Girl holding two phone cases

 

Q: We’d love to hear about how PELA has expanded beyond phone accessories. Tell us about your other sustainable ventures.

Although we started with phone cases, Pela has quickly expanded into different community brands to help achieve a waste free future. Our expansion started with eyewear! Pela Vision was born in 2019 as a biodegradable alternative to plastic frames. Now offering blue light lenses and sunglasses, Pela Vision is devoted to protecting your eyes and the planet.

In 2020 we acquired Habitat Botanicals to offer a zero waste, vegan, handmade alternatives in the self-care industry. Habitat offers a line of haircare, soaps, deodorant and lip balm that is cruelty free, and biodegradable!

At the end of 2020 we expanded into pet-care with Barxby! Barxby’s focus is to create zero waste, natural and biodegradable products that are good for your pet AND the planet.

Last but certainly not least, we’ll be launching our newest addition to the Pela community at the end of April! Lomi is a compost machine that lives on your counter and can break down organic, compostable and bioplastic waste in just hours! Lomi stands to revolutionize the way we handle waste management by reducing waste volume by 80% and preventing the creation of methane that occurs when food waste ends up in landfills.

 

Q: What do you find barriers are to people going zero waste or taking up composting?

One of the barriers to sustainability is the perceived cost of sustainable alternatives. It’s important to remember that you don’t need to throw out what you have and buy everything again! A big part of sustainability is using what you have, upcycling what you can, and then when you do need to purchase something new, choosing the sustainable option!

Composting can be tricky because not everyone lives in a place where food waste is collected municipally, or maybe they just don’t have the green space that allows them to own a compost bin of their own! We recognize this is a problem for a lot of people and are in the process of launching our newest sustainability venture — Lomi! A compost machine that lives on your counter. It can hold up to 3L of waste (even bioplastics and certified compostable materials like a Pela case) and turns this waste into stink free, mess free compost.

 

Biodegradable apple watch bands

 

Q: Can you share three tips for people looking to live more sustainably through going zero waste and composting?

A few tips for people looking to live more sustainably are to invest in sustainable swaps, like a Pela Case instead of a plastic one, or getting yourself some tentree gear and planting some trees!

Do some background work when choosing where your products come from. Try to support companies whose missions support social and environmental causes. Look for companies who are BCorp certified, 1% For the Planet, and climate neutral!

Finally, focus on progress over perfection because we don’t need a few perfect environmentalists, we need a lot of people living environmentally consciously imperfectly!

 

Want to learn more about Pela (and maybe snag a phone case)? Check out their website.

Looking to start composting and reduce your food waste? We’ve got you covered with a handy how-to guide.

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