Is the tide changing on our plastic problem?
We’ve all heard the stats. I think the one that really stuck with me was the slightly incomprehensible stat that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. The mind boggles right!
Plastic pollution has come to be viewed as one the most serious threats to our environment, creating toxic exposure in every phase of its life cycle. One of the hardest hit parts of our environment are our oceans; as they receive much of the plastic waste generated on land. BUT, I bring good news; in the UK, the tide appears to be changing on our plastic problem (see what I did there??!).
A recent survey for Sky Ocean Rescue found that 87% of people are concerned by the UK's plastic usage ( 8 million tonnes pollute the world's oceans every year) and nearly two-thirds of people would welcome a charge for single-use plastics, similar to the one for five pence shopping bags.
To highlight the problem, the organisation has created a 10 metre whale made from single-use plastic and unveiled it in central London. The whale has been covered with 250kg of plastic, the same amount that pollutes the ocean every second. Every second! Over the next two weeks it will visit several iconic beaches and waterfronts across the UK to raise awareness!
One company who is all too familiar with the plastic problem is Pela Case. As someone who is eternally clumsy, and who has smashed her phone more times than she would care to remember in the last year, you can imagine my elation when I came across a phone case that would not only protect said phone but also the environment.
Pela case was created by three Canadian nature loving individuals, Sunta, Jeremy and Matt, who had a combined mission to build a company that produced products that lessen our impact on the planet. Jeremy created Flaxstic; a sustainable plastic alternative which the company have showcased through their first product – an awesome iPhone case.
Pela case came into being after Jeremy, an environmental consultant, was shocked to find so much plastic pollution washed up on the shores of Hawaii during a family holiday. He didn’t want his son to grow up in a planet where all of nature’s beautiful playgrounds were full of human created plastic waste. He decided that one way he could fight plastic waste in a meaningful way was to create a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative that people would want to use over traditional petroleum-based plastics.
After much research and trial and error, Jeremy created a proprietary material called Flaxstic that is 45% bio-based using plant sources and an agri-waste byproduct from the Canadian flax fields where he lives. It was formulated to be compostable and have less of a harmful, long-term impact on the environment.
Not only does this eco-friendly phone case allow you to jump start the conversation about how innovative thinking can create products that are beautiful and functional without having to harm the planet in the process, it is also shock- absorbent, which for the clumsy among us adds an additional layer of delight!
The guys over at Pela Case have big plans; they hope to evolve into Pela Planet, and use their flaxstic material for many more products. “We are still in the early stages of growing and as the demand continues to rise for our phone cases, we are using this time to truly consider each step of our process of getting quality products to our customers and how to cut waste wherever we can.” Says Sunta, “to remain ethically conscious as we grow is really important to us. It will not always be easy but we believe the best we can do is be as transparent as possible so our customers know who and what they are supporting.”
Using plastic from recycled sources is awesome but where a lot of brands fall down is what happens to the components if the user discards them; they still go to landfill. This is where Pela Case is different from every other eco case on the market (and traditional plastic cases); it is 100% compostable. This means that as long as your case ends up in a composting environment it will break down and no toxic waste or distinguishable non-organic material will remain. “Where other cases use finishes or plastic to strengthen their cases Pela cases take a note from nature and protect your phone like a strong and sturdy peel” says Sunta.
What I love about Pela Case is that they have thought about the whole product lifecycle; for those who don’t have access to a backyard compost or if bioplastic is not accepted by your city/composting programme you can send your old case back to Pela and they can can actually break down the case and use the material to make the next generation of products! Pretty amazing right!
At Flor & Cesta we believe that technological innovation by companies such as Pela to provide eco-friendly alternatives to plastic for everyday items is the key to our advancement towards a more sustainable lifestyle and planet. We can’t wait to see what Pela produce next!
Check out their iphone cases here. Android coming soon!