The Best Sustainable Phone Cases

Go green while protecting your screen

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While we love the style and protection smartphone cases bring to devices, the sad truth is that these plastic and silicone cases often end up in the trash when we no longer need them. If you want to protect the planet, it’s time to consider switching to a sustainable phone case.

Sustainable cases are made of recycled or organic material and completely break down within months, leaving no pollution behind. They snugly protect your phone just as a traditional case would, but without the plastic.

Best Overall

URBAN ARMOR GEAR UAG Outback

URBAN ARMOR GEAR UAG Outback

Amazon

What We Like
  • Durable, ergonomic design

  • Meets military drop-test standards

  • Packaging is completely biodegradable

What We Don't Like
  • Exterior can scratch easily

  • Limited color choices

One of the best for any phone is the Urban Armor Gear UAG Outback, the first biodegradable series from the brand. From a sustainable perspective, we like that the case and its packaging are entirely biodegradable. It's made from plant-based bioplastic, and the packaging is also plastic-free, made from recycled cardboard and soy-based ink.

The Outback protects both the environment and your phone with an ergonomic design that’s both slim and durable—it’s soft to the touch but also meets military-grade drop test protection, ensuring your phone can withstand falls and accidents. You’ve also got a raised bevel to give extra protection to the camera.

It’s durable enough to protect your phone outdoors or when hiking or playing sports, but it’s also perfect for daily use. We’d like to see the color range expanded to provide more than a handful of subdued choices, but it’s otherwise one of the top sustainable phone cases on the market today.

Best Design

Pela Phone Case

Pela Phone Case

Amazon

What We Like
  • 100% compostable

  • Beautiful color palette

  • Slim and thin design

What We Don't Like
  • Pale colored cases tend to show dirt easily

  • Can be tricky to clean

We love that the Pela Phone Case is entirely environmentally friendly—they are 100% compostable and biodegradable, meaning they won’t clutter up a landfill once you’re no longer using it. Pela also proves that eco-friendly products can be stylish, with cases offered in a range of aesthetically-pleasing colors and designs, which include special edition wildlife cases to raise funds for nature charities.

The Pela design is slim, easy to grip, and durable. Their cases are made from a material called Flaxstic, composed of flax straw shive and plant-based biopolymers. It also meets government standards for compostability and is free from unwanted chemicals frequently found in plastics, such as BPA and phthalates.

With plenty of fabulous designs and gorgeous colors, you can shop with pride that a portion of your purchase will go to charity and that your phone case is helping the environment. However, we recommend a darker-colored case, as some users report that paler colors tend to stain easily.

Most Versatile

Casetify Custom Compostable Eco Friendly Phone Case

Casetify Custom Compostable Phone Case
What We Like
  • Toxin-free and completely compostable

  • Add personalization and select your color

  • Drop-proof up to four feet

What We Don't Like
  • Can be slippery when new

  • Expensive

The Casetify Custom Compostable is a stylish and robust case that gives you plenty of options to personalize it however you like. From a design perspective, you can select the color, add your name or initials, and position the text where you want—it’s a lot of fun and is sure to appeal to the younger crowd. There are plenty of bright colors to choose from too.

The cases are made from a combination of bamboo, cornstarch, and pellet, all organic materials that will break down 100% within a few months after it’s discarded. Even the laser used to customize the cases is free from chemicals and toxins, so you can be confident that your purchase is helping the environment. Plus, the packaging is made from recycled materials.

The Custom Compostable will keep your phone secure, too, with a drop rating of up to four feet and a one-piece, slim design that you can pop on and off. Bamboo is known for its strength, so it’s a natural choice to include in a phone case. If you’re looking for a versatile case that can match your style, the Casetify Custom Compostable is an excellent choice if your budget allows it.

Best for iPhone

Nimble Bottle Case 2

Nimble Bottle Case 2
What We Like
  • Slim case made from recycled plastic bottles

  • Cardholder on the reverse

  • Water-resistant

What We Don't Like
  • Fabric can fray over time

  • Wireless charging won’t work when a credit card is in the holder

The Nimble Bottle Case 2 is made from just what you’d think—100% recycled plastic bottles. No new plastic is used in the case or the packaging, with Nimble pairing up with a range of ocean and coral charities to give back.

The Bottle Case 2 is comfortable to grip, thanks to the slightly textured feel of the fabric. Its rugged shell design slips firmly onto your iPhone, guarding against scratches and drops. We also like that the case is water-resistant if you plan on taking your phone near the pool or beach.

Plus, the case allows for wireless charging. If you’re the type who enjoys using your phone as a wallet case, the Bottle Case 2 offers an exterior cardholder that can fit a card and ID.

Just note that you’ll need to take the cards out to use the case with a wireless charger. It’s a great contender for your next iPhone case, available in various colors inspired by nature.

About Our Expert

Katie Dundas is a freelance journalist who frequently writes about tech and Apple products and has also covered environmental issues.

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