The shell was designed by Dominik as part of a student research project. Its development up to prototype status took place in Germany. The fine-tuning was then made possible with our partner in China.
We want to become better and we can do that best with your help.
Together with you, we at Oceanmata want to rid our oceans of plastic waste and create sustainable alternatives with our products.
We are not perfect yet, but we are working on getting better every day and we are always grateful for your support.
Do you have any criticism or suggestions for improvement?
Let us know and send us a message.
Oceanmata at Augsburg TV
Our product - the biodegradable cover
Where was the mobile phone case developed?
For the production of the injection moulds and thus for series production, we have chosen the production site in China (Changan Town in Guangdong). Even if we find a more local production desirable for the sake of sustainability, we have to admit that China currently has the highest competence in the production of mobile phone cases. Accordingly, we have our mobile phone cases manufactured in China under the highest quality standards. Of course, we pay special attention to work safety, fair wages and working conditions. For this reason, our manufacturer is certified by TÜV Rheinland.
Production of the injection mould
In mechanical production, milling centres are first used to produce the moulds for the series production of the mobile phone cover.
Injection moulding machines for series production
The milled mould is then assembled in the injection moulding plant.
Production of the mobile phone cover
During the injection moulding process, the biodegradable plastic is pressed into the mould halves under the influence of heat and finally removed with a removal aid.
Do you have certifications for the phone case?
Our covers are certified compostable. It is important to emphasise that biodegradable plastic is not the same as compostable plastic.
The difference is important and therefore we would like to explain it to you briefly. Biodegradable refers to a material that is broken down with the help of microorganisms. However, to be called a biodegradable plastic, there is no set time frame for the process of decomposition. In addition, in isolated cases, plastics can leave behind toxic residues, with the emphasis clearly on can.
Here you can find the certification for the material:
In order to obtain this certification, certain conditions must be met.
- Biodegradability in aqueous medium (oxygen demand and evolution of CO2): It must be demonstrated that at least 90% of the organic material is converted into CO2 in 6 months- Disintegration into compost: After 3 months of composting and subsequent sieving through a 2 mm sieve, no more than 10% residues may remain in relation to the original mass
Our material for the covers is certified within this framework. It should be added, however, that this regulation applies to our material in the form of a thin film, but not yet in the form of a mobile phone cover, which is considerably thicker (approx. 1.5 mm) and thus requires significantly longer for the composting process.
This makes the mobile phone cover "biodegradable" according to the current standard, but not "compostable".
There is a simple reason for this: our intention in producing the biodegradable mobile phone cover was not to be able to dispose of it in the compost. The biodegradability should lead to less damage to the environment than is the case with an ordinary mobile phone cover. If we assume that the mobile phone cover ends up in the ocean, it now has a chance to biodegrade.
The biological mobile phone cover therefore has much less serious impact on the environment, animals and the ocean.
For comparison: a mobile phone cover made of normal plastics can take up to 500! years to decompose. In summary, no cover should be disposed of mindlessly. Unfortunately, no end consumer can influence where the waste in the yellow bin will end up. Not everything can and will be recycled. Therefore, our waste will also end up in landfills in Indonesia, India, etc. through exports.
All of our focus should therefore be conscious consumption. As for us, our focus has always been to make a product that makes a difference. Even if that currently means not having a perfect solution yet. Our learning process is continuous and we will continue to work passionately to offer the most environmentally friendly alternative.
What exactly are the ingredients of the cell phone case?
Hand on heart - here, too, we are still working on our "best version of us". Currently, our mobile phone cover is still based on a compostable plastic that is based on mineral oil. There are already alternatives made from renewable raw materials such as corn starch, but these do not yet meet our requirements in terms of durability and hardness.
But since this fact is a thorn in our own side, we would like to design a mobile phone case this year that is made entirely from renewable raw materials AND is compostable.
A quick digression, because we make mistakes too and we want to own up to them:
Unfortunately, we made a mistake in the presentation on the homepage. We had listed PBAT as "77% sugar (PBAT)" in the ingredients. This term may indicate that no mineral oil is used for production. Currently, however, we are not yet 100% without petroleum.
Therefore, if you would like to return your phone case, please write to our customer support and we will offer you a return & refund. (This misstatement was corrected on 01/2021)
For all of you experts whose hearts beat faster at a more detailed breakdown - you can find everything here:
77 % PBAT
"Polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT) is a biodegradable and compostable copolymer of the polyester group."
(Source: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polybutylenadipat-terephthalat#:~:text=polybutylene adipate%2Dterephthalate%20(PBAT)%20is,from%20the%20group%20of%20polyesters. )
4 % Cellulose
"Cellulose (also cellulose) is the main component of plant cell walls (about 50% by mass), making it the most abundant organic compound and also the most abundant polysaccharide (polysaccharide). Cellulose is also the most abundant biomolecule. It is unbranched and consists of several hundreds to tens of thousands of (β-1,4-glycosidically linked) β-D-glucose or cellobiose units. These high-molecular-weight cellulose chains assemble into higher structures that often serve static functions as tear-resistant fibers in plants. Cellulose differs from the polysaccharide chitin, which is also common in nature, by the absence of acetamide groups. Cellulose is significant as a raw material for paper production, but also in the chemical industry and other areas."
Source : https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellulose
11 % Calcium carbonate
"Calcium carbonate is one of the most widespread compounds on Earth, especially in the form of sedimentary rocks. It occurs primarily in the form of the mineral calcite (calcite, double spar), which is one of the most abundant minerals in the Earth's crust. Not only is it the predominant crystal in the massive limestones, but in combination with quartz, barite, and fluorite it forms the parent rock of very many ore veins. It may even be the sole constituent of veins ranging in thickness from a few centimetres to some tens of metres."
Source : https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calciumcarbonat
6 % TBAC (Tributyl acetylicitrate)
"Acetyl tributyl citrate is used as a biologically safe plasticizer for PVC and other polymers as a replacement for some phthalates that were banned in early 2015. In particular, it can be used as a replacement for DEHP and DINP. According to studies, very little of it transfers from PVC films into food. It does, however, transfer from PVC plastic ware to liquids such as milk to a small extent. The compound is also used as a plasticizer for the copolymer PVDC/PVC. In cosmetics, it is used to make nail polish. In this process, acetyltributyl citrate reduces the hardness and thus the brittleness of the film and gives the film more elasticity. Furthermore, acetyl tributyl citrate facilitates the evaporation of the solvents, e.g. ethyl acetate, in the nail varnish.
2% talc powder and titanium dioxide
"Talc is one of the rock-forming minerals in theepizone of the crystalline schist series and is the main constituent of soapstone (also steatite)."
Titanium dioxide has a wide range of applicationsas a white pigment, hence four to five million tons are produced worldwide per year. The main applications are in coatings such as varnishes and paints, followed by plastic colorings and laminate papers. Colored products usually also contain white pigments to achieve high hiding power.
>1% "Hindered Phenol Antioxidants"
How fast does the shell decompose in the ocean/soil/etc.?
We currently assume 2 - 5 years, but this is always tied to the conditions in the environment, which can change constantly.
A current test has after about 6 months composting in the home compost, the following picture:
June 2020 - December 2020 (test conducted by tierisch_kompostieren)
If you want to know more, here is a source from the Federal Environment Agency:
Can the mobile phone cover be recycled?
Yes, the cell phone case can be recycled.
But caution is advised here: In the standard yellow bag, however, the cover is usually sorted out and sent to the residual waste. This is because the recycling companies do not currently recycle biodegradable plastic.
We are currently working on closing the loop. That means we want to recycle the cover for you and make new products from it. We're not there yet, but in the future you can send us your mobile phone cover and we'll take care of the recycling for you.
Where are the mobile phone covers printed and how?
Currently, we offer isolated Handycases with printed motifs. These are printed regionally by the company betterdigital in Augsburg. We know that the inks used in UV printing do not yet meet our own sustainability requirements and are currently looking for solutions to use sustainable inks.
Currently, the company betterdigital use inks from the company Sun Chemical from the series "Crystal". You can find more information here:
Partner company: https://betterdigital.de/
Our product - the bracelet made from ocean plastic
Where was the bracelet developed?
The bracelet was created in cooperation with the company Susila in Denpasar on the island of Bali. During his trip, Dominik and the Susila team looked for ways to process the collected ocean plastic into bracelets. Susila is specialised in the production of bracelets. After about 4 months of development, the first Oceanmata bracelet was launched in February 2022.
The bracelet is made in Bali in the capital Denpasar.
Where does the ocean plastic for the bracelet come from?
We collect the ocean plastic ourselves from our site in Medewi on the island of Bali. From there, a part of the collected ocean plastic is delivered to one of our suppliers who presses plates from it. In a second step, round balls are drilled and manufactured from these plates. These round spheres are then artfully made into a bracelet by Susila.
We cannot guarantee that 100% of the ocean plastic comes from us. Because our supplier also recycles plastic elsewhere, it is always possible that there is some ocean plastic or recycled plastic in the plates that is not directly from us.
Our Ocean Clean Up Project in Bali
Where's your clean up project?
Our current location is right on the beach of Medewi:
However, in the monsoon seasons we have noticed that the site is extremely affected by flooding and therefore we are currently building a new and larger recycling site in order to be able to better recycle and wash the ocean plastic in the future.
The new site is being built here:
You want to have a look at it on site or maybe even help out? We are looking forward to it! Feel free to contact us: email@example.com
Update 06/2021: In the meantime, our new location has been completed and you can visit us there at any time. Just type "Oceanmata Medewi" into google maps.
Where or how is the garbage recycled?
With our Ocean Clean Up project, we took the first step to collect ocean plastic in January 2020. Initially, we left the recycling process to external companies and passed on our collected plastic to them.
With our new recycling site, we have invested in a shredding machine and are building our own washing line to separate, clean and finally shred ocean plastic. Once processed in this way, surrounding plastic processing companies can produce new plastics from the ocean plastic.
However, in order to have a better overview of this important step in the future, it is our goal to take the entire process into our own hands. For example, we can produce our own granulate from ocean plastic, which can then be used for new products.
What happens to the rest that cannot be recycled?
Unfortunately, about 40% of the ocean plastic collected cannot be recycled.
In this case, the non-recyclable plastics are too decomposed and brittle due to solar radiation, or cannot be recycled from the ground up.
We are currently working together with another German start-up on using a new technology to process this waste and make it "reusable". Since this is still very much in its infancy, we can't reveal too much yet :)
Our partner organisations
Which organisations do you work with and how much was donated?
Kurma Asih Turtle Project:
Donations paid until June 2021
IDR 35,000,000 = approx. EUR 2,031,42
Setting up your own Clean Up project:
approx. 28,800 EUR
How did you get involved with the Dolphin Project organization?
Through research, we accidentally came across the Dolphin Project, which also has a location in Bali. The very moving story of the rescue of the three dolphins Johnny, Rocky and Rambo convinced us immediately. After consultation we finally decided to support this great action.
How much is donated?
For each product sold we donate 5% to the organization and for each sponsorship 20%. Based on net sales.
Currently we have agreed with the Turtle Foundation that we will donate 1% of our sales per Turtle product for the next 2 months.
Background is that the development of Oceanmata is currently difficult and we have to save costs.
Our shipping and packaging
What is our shipping packaging made of?
Our packaging is made from 30% grass and 70% waste paper. Called grass paper for short: Grass paper!
Why grass paper?
For the raw material grass, mainly meadows in the immediate vicinity of Thimm's paper mill are used.
Insect protection: The grass paper meadows are only mown at nature-friendly and regulated intervals. This means that an important biotope remains, which serves to preserve biodiversity.
No staples, glue or the like: The grass box is designed so that neither parcel tape nor metal staples are needed to close it securely.
Water: The production of cellulose fibre normally requires an enormous amount of water and also involves the use of environmentally harmful chemicals. Studies have shown that the production of grass paper uses significantly less water and energy.
How do we ship our products?
We currently ship your products via DHL GoGreen. This means that your package arrives at your home CO2 neutral from our warehouse in Bielefeld.
How much CO2 does the entire journey of a mobile phone cover cause?
We have undertaken to provide you with an exact list of our CO2 emissions and to offset our CO2 emissions in the future.
We will keep you up to date on this.
How do the mobile phone cases get from production to the warehouse?
We import our covers as collective orders from China and store them with an external service provider.
We don't have a CO2 offset yet, but we collect 1kg of plastic from the ocean for every cover we buy. For this purpose, we have set up our own Ocean CleanUp project in Bali. At the moment we still have very small structures and not so much planning security, which is why the delivery of our goods by plane is attractive for us. The reason for this is that we can get goods faster here and have to plan fewer months in advance. However, as we are always striving to be able to offer even more environmentally friendly covers, we are currently in the process of changing our ordering processes.
In the future, our goal is to transport our mobile phone cases via container trains and thus significantly reduce CO2 emissions. In addition, we want to become CO2 neutral as soon as possible and completely offset our CO2 emissions.