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Have you ever wondered how plastic is recycled and what objects are born from this process?

Or even more simple… Have you ever wondered how the everyday objects you use are designed and manufactured? Behind our revolutionary phonecase is a team of people who are passionate about what they do and who work together to create the best product possible for you and for the planet. Read on to see how we do it!

1. Design: From idea to paper with style

When you have a brilliant idea, the first thing you have to do is write it down or sketch it. When Pablo had his moment of inspiration and realised that what he needed to create was a phonecase with a handle, he made dozens of drawings, until he came up to this:

POPSICASE Sketch

First POPSICASE sketch: This is how we came up to this idea

2. Industrial engineering: From sketch to perfect functionality

After the idea was captured on paper, we wanted to give it shape and transform it into a workable design. Therefore, we designed plans that adapt to each smartphone model, taking into account the following functionalities:

  • The screen and device need to be protected from all angles.
  • The area of the camera has be left clear for optimal image and video capture.
  • The phone must be fully embedded in the case.
  • The handle has to be just the right length and thickness for the best manageability and glide.
  • And, of course, it has to look good.
Engineers of POPSICASE

Our engineers behind POPSICASE

So, to achieve all of that, we incorporated engineering experts Sergi, Sandra and Toni into the team. Consequently, after several months of study and research, they drew up the final plans, from which we made prototypes (3D impressions) and verified that everything worked perfectly. The next question was, will it work just as well with recycled material? Will it be a successful way of demonstrating how plastic is recycled and turned into something new?

3. Choosing the material: how to find the best and most sustainable

From the moment we ventured into this project, we were aware of our responsibility as manufacturers. That’s why we put so much effort into making POPSICASE sustainable. But it did make the process more complicated as the manufacturing industry doesn’t yet recognise environmental conservation as an essential part of all processes.

Nylon nets

Nylon fishing nets

A phonecase made from fishing nets: A great way to demonstrate how plastic is recycled

So, this is a great way to show people how plastic is recycled. POPSICASE is manufactured with recycled plastic that comes from abandoned fishing nets used in the Mediterranean sea. Fishing nets have a limited working life and are frequently replaced. Until very recently these nets, mostly made of nylon, were thrown into dumpsters and treated as waste, increasing pollution of our seas and land. So, from now on, and thanks to the collaboration of many companies, old nets are collected in 17 ports along the Mediterranean coastline, and are washed, chopped, melted and made into a sturdy material that we then take to our factory and inject into our mold to create the cover part of our cases. 

Containers with fishing nets

Containers with fishing nets waiting to be recycled

A handle made from scrap aluminum.

The tyre from a caravan that travelled all over Europe, the soda can that two lovers drank from when they declared their love, the handlebars of a bike which five children used to learn to ride… Who knows how many stories are contained in each handle? Pure aluminum is extracted from bauxite through a highly polluting process. However it is also a totally recyclable material, and that’s why we use it to make our handle.

4. Making the mold: Half ton of steel sculpted to the millimeter

Manufacturing a recycled plastic mould

Manufacturing the POPSICASE mould

So, once we the plans are set, the prototypes are made and the material has been chosen, it’s time for the most complicated step: the creation of the mold into which the material is injected to make the final product.

The molds are made of a special steel which is highly resistant to high temperatures and closing pressures. So, making the mold can take up to several months of work because it is designed with a vast number of pieces that have to fit together perfectly. Therefore, the tiniest variation or misalignment affects the final piece. Have a look at it!

5. Plastic injection: finally the product in hand, in different colours

When the mold is ready, it’s time for the final and most tangible step: injecting the molten material into special big machines. 

Although the materials of the case and the handle are different, the injection process is the same: the aluminium and the polyamide are melt and pass through the mold to shape the individual pieces.

Manufacturing process at POPSICASE

We control the whole process, even at machine foot!

Organic colors

The colors of the POPSICASE cover are achieved thanks to the incorporation of an organic dye that we mix with the recycled polyamide squaw.

6. Manual assemble

Assembling POPSICASE in Barcelona

Assembling POPSICASE in Barcelona

Consequently, after leaving the factory, each piece needs a revision. That’s why we review them one by one in our workshop to later be assembled manually. So, here it finally is, the POPSICASE!

7. Packaging of each POPSICASE

POPSICASE Packacking process

This is how we pack our POPSICASE.

And now, all we have to do is put the POPSICASE in its recycled packaging. And it’s ready for a new POPSILOVER to enjoy. See? A great way of how plastic is recycled!

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