The amount of plastic scattered around the world is somewhat terrifying, but have you thought about the global impact of plastic phone cases? Over one billion plastic phone cases are sold each year, it’s hardly a small market, and currently, there is nothing stopping it from becoming even more detrimental to the environment.
Learn all about our research on the ever increasing market hence landfill problem, which no one seems to want to talk about. And yes, you will find your countries plastic pollution due to phone cases.
The cell phone. Quite an innovation. And hasn’t it made our partially remote work life a lot smoother?
And yes, since the iPhone launched in 2007, it’s the everyday product that you use the most.
If you are anything like me, you protect your 1500 EUR investment with a phone case. With almost every smartphone comes a phone case.
In the US alone, 79% of smartphone users have cases to protect their phones.
Try now to visualise how many phone cases are floating around the world, in shops, around the house and sadly, in landfills?
Millions? Well, no billions.
3000 factories are part of the phone case problem
A phone case is someone’s most seen accessory and has over time also become a fashion statement. This means people buy multiple cases just to match certain outfits, increasing the already high demand for phone cases.
That’s a lot of virgin plastics. Now let’s do some math, based on the amount of the population using a smartphone.
First, let’s start with the number of plastic phone cases sold each year per country. This is just plastic, I haven’t included other harmful materials like leather, vegan leather, and pure silicone cases. The latter two is also plastics.
Next up, I’ve calculated how much plastic per market this would total.
A quite simple calculation, the number and multiplying the number of phone cases sold per year by 20 (the average weight of plastic phone case is 20 grams), then converted this number into KG.
No surprise here that China is at the top of the list, but don’t see their large figure and think the rest aren’t so bad. Norway’s plastic phone cases weigh the equivalent of 8 full-size male elephants. Germany’s plastic phone cases weigh the same amount as 37 Ford 4WD’s. 37.
If you don’t think that seems a lot, pick up your phone case. Notice how light it is? Okay, now try to visualise how many phone cases that would take to weigh the same as just that one elephant or one car.
Then another scary fact. Over a lifetime one person starting from the age of 16 until they were 70 years old, one person would have bought around 27 phone cases in their lifetime. One you. Or one me.
Lastly, most plastic phone cases aren’t recycled, instead, they are sent to landfill or as in my home country, Sweden, they are burnt.
So, here I have compared the amount of plastic produced from UK phone cases to their total mismanaged plastic waste in 2019.
Although it doesn’t look like a huge addition to mismanaged waste, the fact you can see it makes a dent in some of the total landfill waste shows it’s an issue worth raising.
That’s a lot of phone cases rotting away in landfills across the world yearly.
And globally, we still change our phones every second or third year.
The other big threat, which we haven’t calculated on here, is the greater availability of fashionable plastic cases, this is increasing the demand for customers to buy more than one case, thus furthering the environmental impact per person and in total.
Plastic phone cases are a one-time thing?
But hold my beer. Can’t a plastic phone case be recycled?
Well, like not really.
You see, the absolute majority of phone cases are made with various types of plastic, these are then blended together which means they can’t actually be recycled or used again.
Something is soft on the side of the case, something hard is on the back of the cell phone and often is it covered with fleece or a felt on the inside. This is called blended fractions of materials, and it’s a nightmare for recycling.
Plastic phone cases causes detrimental effects on the environment
To put this into perspective, this issue with blended materials is not only for a phone case. In fact, 79% of plastic that has been produced since the start of plastic production still exists in landfills today.
In Sweden, less than 10% of all plastic produced every year is recycled. It’s such a sad fact that we can never really say goodbye to plastic, our earth will always be polluted.
Does it have to be this way? The short answer is NO.
You can choose to think consciously and buy from brands like ours. We avoid plastic at all costs.
No plastic, no problemo!
Our mobile case is made 100% from a local plant, designed and made in Sweden. In a nutshell: Arvid, our favourite farmer who has an organic farm in Eskilstuna, sells us the surplus of his linseed plants to us. And tada, we injection mould it making a plant based phone case.