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Engineering Materials

Creating environmentally-friendly phone accessories with Arnitel® Eco & EcoPaXX®  

PopSockets, a phone accessory company, is on a sustainability mission 

When PopSockets was looking for a way to make its popular mobile phone accessories more sustainable, they looked to DSM Engineering Materials to help them find the right material solutions for their products. In celebration of Earth Day, on April, 22, 2021, PopSockets is launching their new line of PopGrip Plant phone accessories using DSM’s Arnitel® Eco and EcoPaXX®.

The PopSockets team is always on the lookout for the best plastic alternatives for their products—they researched different materials, including ocean plastics, compostable grips, and products made from re-grind (PopGrips materials used a second time). For the new phone accessories, they needed to find not only a sustainable material, but a material with high performance, and this where DSM recommended specific materials solutions that were up to the task.  

Both EcoPaXX® and Arnitel® Eco are ideal for the PopGrip application. Arnitel Eco delivers high performance, through a wide portfolio of grades that thrive in extreme conditions and can extend product lifetimes significantly, while EcoPaXX  delivers performance, aesthetics and sustainability, which are all key features of the PopGrip application.    

pop-socket-image-2.jpg “The application—a small retractable grip placed on the back of a mobile phone—seems very simple at first glance, but not just any sustainable material would work,” said Geert Vanden Poel, the project’s application development engineer. “The grip contains multiple parts that must expand and contract as the consumer uses it, so they were looking for sustainable materials that could also offer best-in-class mechanical performance.”

DSM’s Arnitel Eco material is a bio-based thermoplastic co-polyester (TPE) that delivers high performance with a low environmental impact. The material is made from 50% renewable resources, based on rapeseed oil, and the material can deliver up to a 40% reduction in carbon footprint compared to traditional co-polyesters.

EcoPaXX combines DSM’s propriety C4 technology with the power of nature’s C10 building block derived from castor plants. The combination of the short C4 block and the long C10 block gives EcoPaXX high mechanical properties of typical short chain polyamides, but combines these with lower moisture update and higher chemical resistance more typical of long chain polyamides.

PopSockets makes positive environmental impact

When PopSockets was established in 2014 by David Barnett, CEO & Founder, he knew the journey he was beginning with the company was going to be about more than just innovative and fun mobile phone accessories. It was also going to be about creating positivity.

“After getting our business up and running I soon realized two things: first, that those around me at PopSockets are as passionate as I am about making a positive impact; and second, that PopSockets is positioned to make a bigger impact than I ever could on my own,” said Barnett.

The company’s impact priorities focus on philanthropy, its people, human rights and the planet. Regarding environmental sustainability, PopSockets is focused on reducing virgin plastics, emissions, and overall waste production at its factories. This could easily be a quandary for a company whose core product relies on functional plastics, but not for PopSockets. By implementing smart design, sustainable materials, efficient manufacturing, smart logistics, and end of life recycling, PopSockets is keeping its footprint as small as possible.

For more information about PopSockets and its phone accessories visit: www.popsockets.com

Find out related datasheet

Learn more about Sustainability 

Published on

26 April 2021

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Felice Szeto-Wong

Account Manager for DSM Engineering Materials

Felice Szeto-Wong is an Account Manager for DSM Engineering Materials. Based in Cupertino, California, she helps consumer electronics companies overcome complex design challenges. Prior to joining DSM, she bolstered her technical sales expertise working in the biomedical industry. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business finance at Baylor University, and went on to complete her MBA at the University of California – Irvine.

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