What the Heck is a Compostable Phone Case?

With so many new phone launches and upgrades, we sit down to learn about one of the biggest advances of all. Bioplastics that make great phone cases-and compost

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What the Heck is a Compostable Phone Case?

An interview with one of Moment’s product developers about biodegradable plastics.

The iPhone 11 launch made for a crazy day of camera talk and specs comparisons. For so many people, it also meant pre-planning what cases and accessory setups they’ll be using with their new iPhones. We were excited to see that Moment lenses will work with the main and tele cameras across the entire iPhone 11 range, but the big news is the cases we’ve designed to launch alongside the next generation of devices. We caught up with product wizard Alex Stankie to learn more about the materials and where they’re headed.

Moment thin case iph11max black 01

Organic Materials that Protect Your Phone and the Planet

Alex explains, “Instead of using petroleum-based oils, we use a plant-based oil derived from flax seed. This plant based TPU breaks down in eight months to a year in its solid form. To speed up the process and reduce waste, we use the husk of the flax seed to make the case less dense. This flax husk filler also makes the case more impact resistant, as the air pockets in the husk allow space for the bio case to compress and rebound during an impact.”


How Does a Phone Case Compost?

Unlike petroleum-based plastics that last hundreds of years even in the harshest elements, flax seed plastics break down quickly whether they end up in a compost pile or in a landfill. Alex says, “When the case is sent to compost, the flax husk will biodegrade first, and allow water and air to get inside the case to speed the breakdown process of the bio oil-based ‘plastic.’”

Does it Protect My Phone?

It’s fair to wonder if a compostable case might wear out faster than traditional plastics, or if it’s as tough in a fall. Alex says, “Under normal use and normal exposure to water, this case won't fall apart or breakdown. We also subject it to the same drop tests as all our other cases and find it performs equally to traditional plastics.”

Moment thin case iph11 mint 01

Believe it or not, all that minty goodness will biodegrade and turn into worm food!

Bringing Bioplastics to More Products

Bioplastics are an exciting new field of product science that allows us to replace a highly useful (but often problematic) material with a version that has all the same properties while breaking down hundreds of times faster once its useful lifecycle has passed. In addition to the iPhone 11 Bio Case, we’ve brought bioplastics to the Thin Case that splits size and protection between the traditional Case and the new Filmmaker Case designed to be ultra minimalist to fit in drone controllers (and skinny jeans). Aside from the pop-out lens mount, the entire Thin Case is compostable, too. Biodegradable plastics are an exciting way that we can continue to innovate with new products while also minimizing the footprint of the rapidly-evolving tech world.

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