Pela makes phone cases and other products that are 100% biodegradable, which means they are decomposed by bacteria and living organisms in an effort to reduce waste. Pela’s cases are protective, durable, stylish, and best of all, sustainable.
Every year, about 14 million tonnes of plastic are predicted to wind up in the ocean. Plastic trash not only harms and kills marine life, but it also poses a health risk to humans and contributes to climate change. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to single-use plastic pollution, firms like Pela (@pelacase) are working hard to reduce the amount of plastic garbage in our oceans.
While the name “Pela” certainly rolls off the tongue, there is a lot of intention behind it. “‘Pela’ loosely translates into ‘peel’—like an apple peel—in Spanish,” Lang tells In The Know. “An apple peel protects the apple fruit, and it’s biodegradable and compostable and natural, so the Pela case protects the iPhone and it’s biodegradable and compostable.”
After working as an environmental consultant for 8 years, Pela founder Jeremy Lang wanted to start his own company. Inspiration struck on a 2008 trip to Kauai where Lang noticed beautiful beaches littered with pieces of plastic. After researching how plastic from the ocean washes up onto shorelines, Lang started looking into plastic alternatives and applying them to iPhone cases, and Pela was born!
More than a producer of compostable phone cases, Pela wants to shake up the entire waste industry. “We’re trying to think of ourselves as a waste innovation company,” Lang tells In The Know. “Our phone cases are home compostable [and] industrial compostable, but not every industrial composter will take it. So we were like, ‘What if we created a device that could help speed up the compost process?’”
Not only are Pela’s products good for the environment, but their business model is too. “We always from day one wanted to be as environmentally and socially sustainable as possible, so [since] 2014 we [have been] a member of 1% For The Planet, and since that time—I’m really proud—we have donated close to $1 million to non-profits,” shares Lang.