Sprint is among the first companies to offer a product made of AirCarbon, plastic created from waste greenhouse gases by Newlight Technologies.
The main ingredient in the cases, AirCarbon, comes from startup Newlight Technologies, which calls its product carbon-negative, even after production and end of life are taken into account. The company uses carbon dioxide or methane from farms and landfills as well as from wastewater treatment and anaerobic digester plants. AirCarbon "can then be formed and molded into almost any given design," it says.
Why focus on AirCarbon instead of, say oil-based plastic that's already recycled, or plastic made from the start from plants?
"There isn't one option that is going to change the world. Instead it takes a combination of efforts and innovations to collectively create change," Hargroves said. "We like this option because it removes greenhouse gases from the air — the key contributor to global warming...We aren’t limiting ourselves to just this one technology solution, but see it as a potential game changer."
Sprint's accessories long have been made of recycled PET plastic, and PVC-free. It once sold the solar-powered, handheld Solio charger as an accessory. Sprint's packaging has been fully recyclable since 2009, and it has worked with the San Diego Zoo Centre for Bioinspiration to experiment with packaging that imitates patterns in nature. The AirCarbon-based cases can be recycled at a plastics recycling center, but not via curbside pickup.