Delhi-based startup comes up with compostable phone cases

Delhi-based startup GreenCase has introduced a mobile phone case made up of compostable materials such as wheat straw and bio-based polymers derived from annually renewable plant sources.

22 Nov 2019 | By Aultrin Vijay

Compostable mobile cases produced using wheat straw

According to GreenCase, the materials used in the case has been tested to be safe and free of phthalates, BPA, cadmium and lead and is verified to meet child safety standards.

The company, which was opened in September 2019, was founded by two young finance professionals – Abhinandan Kedawat and Govil Khattar – with an aim to “create a waste-free future”.

Govil Khattar, co-founder, GreenCase, said, “At GreenCase, we have a singular, maximus goal: We want to create a waste-free future.”

“While on a vacation to Goa in 2017, we saw firsthand the damage that plastic waste was doing to our oceans, to our lands, and to our bodies. This was a watershed moment to push them (plastic waste) towards a different path,” he added.

Since then, they have spent considerable time and money experimenting with various materials and concepts to try and find alternatives to plastic that could be used in everyday products.

The straws used in GreenCase phone cases are the stalk left over after wheat grains are harvested. “Traditionally, it has been treated as a waste. In some countries (including India), farmers burn it, contributing to air pollution and creating a public health hazard. However, these stalks still have value. This material is reclaimed, and processed to make our wheat straw products,” Khattar said.

He claimed that the company is diverting materials from the waste stream and using a reclaimed resource to make durable, lightweight, and compostable mobile cases by using wheat straw in their products.

“This material is also completely recyclable without any degradation. Hence, we are planning to launch a programme where we will have our cases picked back from our customers at the end of their lifecycle and recycle them into brand new cases,” he added.

Apart from producing biodegradable cases, the two-month-old company has also taken equal effort to make their packaging as sustainable as their cases. For instance, the package containing the case is a plain unprinted corrugated box, which is sealed shut by uncoloured Kraft paper tape, which is completely devoid of plastics.

For cushioning purpose of the product, crinkled waste paper or newspaper is used inside the package to ensure that the case is safe during transportation/transit. Also, the case itself is not wrapped in any kind of cover or bag. “We believe that any protective cases should not require any kind of protection themselves,” said Khattar.

The box size is just enough to fit the case inside, to reduce the space it takes while shipping. This, according to GreenCase, is an important step in reducing its carbon footprint.

The materials used in the case has been tested to be safe and free of phthalates, BPA, cadmium and lead

“Due to the limitations of eCommerce shipping, plastics have traditionally formed a huge part of the packaging, sometimes even comprising more weight than the actual product itself. Hence, we provide a completely sustainable packaging experience with as little wastage as possible,” Khattar said. 

“We believe that modern technology has enabled us to produce products from natural and sustainable materials, all the while avoiding any kind of wastage in production as well as packaging. It just takes a company with an absolute mindset and a clear conscience to bring these products into the mainstream,” he concluded.