PopSockets launches eco-friendly plant-based phone grip

BOULDER — PopSockets LLC, which produces expandable phone grips and accessories, Sunday unveiled a new line of environmentally sustainable products.

PopGrip Plant, designed as an eco-friendly phone grip, is made with corn starch, castor beans and canola oil. The product retails for $15 and comes initially in two colors — Ice Blue and Light Jade — with additional colors slated to be released in the fall.

The new line of phone grips comes as part of PopSockets’ 2019 initiative to reduce its carbon footprint. The company began sourcing and testing recycled and compostable materials, as well as ocean-bound and plant-based materials, according to a company press release.

PopSockets has released two eco-friendly phone grips in Ice Blue and Light Jade (pictured) colors. Courtesy PopSockets LLC

PopSockets experimented with a compostable product, but that was found to produce methane gases and emissions as the product broke down. 

“it was determined that a plant-based plastic most effectively lowered product lifecycle emissions while preserving durability and functionality,” the company said.

The initial version of PopGrip Plant is 35% plant-based, with the top 56% corn starch from Europe, the accordion 52% canola oil from Europe, and the connector hub 70% castor beans from India. Materials are sustainably sourced and do not draw from food supply. 

PopSockets said it will continue research-and-development efforts to increase plant-based percentages of its products.

“At PopSockets we are committed to a sustainable future.” David Barnett, PopSockets CEO, said in a prepared statement. “We’re focused on not only product innovation but also partnerships that offer short- and long-term solutions for carbon reduction. We expect to continually improve over time, and a key part of our efforts will be an increase in the use of plant-based materials throughout the entire PopSockets product line.” 

Beginning April 11, PopSockets will share planet-friendly activities via social-media channels and the PopSockets website as part of the #SmallStepsBigImpact campaign. Participants who  share “small but impactful” daily efforts that reduce energy and emissions will have opportunities to win a PopGrip Plant. 

“PopSockets is proud to be meeting and exceeding our three-year sustainability goals, and supporting our customers, employees and environmental nonprofit partners on their journey toward creating a healthier planet,” said Jennifer Forman, director of corporate citizenship at PopSockets. “This is just the beginning for PopSockets — we are continually raising the bar on our operational sustainability objectives to achieve a dramatic reduction in our carbon footprint over the next few years and facilitating activism as a lifestyle.” 

The company said that in 2020, it:

• Increased the use of recycled and sustainably forested paperboard in packaging to 99%.

• Recycled more than 55,000 pounds of product, packaging and phone cases.

● Reduced shipping emissions by 66%.

• Diverted 75% of headquarters waste.

• Donated more than $150,000 to environmental charities.

• Expanded its TerraCycle partnership from the U.S. to the United Kingdom and Germany.