Lander creates industry-first sustainable, protective case with Tritan™ Renew from Eastman

Eastman collaboration sets standard for recycled content in protective case market


Application: Protective phone cases

Customer: Lander

Geography: Global

Products: Tritan™ Renew from Eastman

Benefits: Durable, shatter-resistant, holds up against cleaning agents, diverts landfill waste, keeps fossil fuels in the ground, reduces greenhouse gas emissions,* and uses a credible and transparent certification process

Value-added solution: Tritan Renew offered a sustainable alternative to traditional polycarbonate, and Eastman provided rapid and customized technical support to ensure Lander’s speed-to-market needs were met.

The challenge

Lander, part of BGZ brands, creates expedition-inspired accessories from environmentally friendly materials. Sustainability is a core strategy for the Rocky Mountain-based company, which was seeking a recycled plastic for its updated line of Torrey protective cases that would be tough enough for adventure-minded customers. This level of sustainability would be a first in the protective case market. And due to the fast pace of the market, Lander needed a solution within weeks.

Since one of their target customers, REI, was already familiar with Tritan Renew, Lander turned to Eastman.

The Eastman solution

The global specialty materials company had a product that would provide Lander sustainability without compromise. Tritan Renew is made through Eastman's molecular recycling technology, which breaks down plastic waste into fundamental building blocks to create pristine new materials. By replacing traditional fossil feedstock with recycled plastic, the company is helping to divert plastic waste from landfills and incinerators or from ending up as litter in the ocean. Tritan Renew offers durability and shatter resistance and holds up against cleaning agents. With up to 50% certified recycled content** from plastic waste, it’s a superior, sustainable alternative to polycarbonate in protective cases.

The processing of Tritan Renew is similar, but not identical, to polycarbonate, which meant a learning curve for the molder. To make matters more challenging, the design of Lander’s popular Torrey case is complicated, consisting of a rigid body with a thermoplastic elastomer overmold made from plant-based materials.

Eastman was there to help.

Just a few weeks after their initial contact in June 2020, the technical teams from Eastman and Lander collaborated on a design for the mold for the new Torrey cases, addressing the complexities posed by multiple materials. When the molder began trials, dedicated Eastman molding technicians were on hand to ensure processing went smoothly, helping to dial in speeds and temperatures and perform quality checks. Eastman’s consultants also worked with the molder to achieve certification by International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC), ensuring traceability of recycled content throughout the value chain.

“Fast turnaround and technical excellence are key in the electronics space. We’re always willing to go the extra mile for our customers,” said Courtland Jenkins, commercial director of specialty plastics for Eastman.

The result

In November 2020, Lander announced a new line of protection products for Apple iPhone 12 devices, including the updated version of the Torrey case made with Tritan Renew. Sold online at and at major retailers, the case featured a soft-touch, plant-based bioplastic outer layer and a rigid inner layer made with Tritan Renew.

“Eastman worked with us throughout the process of adapting Tritan Renew and helped us set a new sustainability standard for the protective case market,” said Kirk Feller, BGZ brands CEO. “We’re committed to making high-quality products that have a positive environmental impact, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.”

Less than a year later, in September 2021, Lander again incorporated Tritan Renew in its next generation of cases. Its line for the iPhone 13 not only features the Torrey with Tritan Renew but also the Glacier, which has the same eco-friendly features with a transparent case that lets customers show of their new smartphones.

“Our partnership with Lander shows they are invested in keeping their products sustainable while continuing to provide high-quality products to the everyday adventurer,” Jenkins said. “We’re proud to partner with a company that places such a large emphasis on sustainability while providing products that are both durable and stylish for consumers to enjoy.”

*Compared to resins made from fossil-based resources
**Via its molecular recycling technologies, Eastman produces circular products that are certified by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) by mass balance allocation.