Colgate has finalised the design of its recyclable toothpaste tube, as part of its sustainable efforts and reduce the impact on the environment.


Image: Colgate has finalized the design of a first-of-its kind recyclable toothpaste tube. Photo: courtesy of Colgate-Palmolive Company.

The new design of the recyclable toothpaste tube has been recognised by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR).

The new tube, which is under development for over five years, will be launched under the firm’s Tom’s of Maine brand in the US in 2020. Launch of the new tube at select global markets under the Colgate brand will be followed.

Colgate aims to fully convert to recyclable tubes by 2025, when all of its products will be in completely recyclable packaging.

Colgate-Palmolive chief growth and strategy officer and executive vice president Justin Skala said: “Building a future to smile about means finding new packaging solutions that are better for the planet, but until now there hasn’t been a way to make toothpaste tubes part of the recycling stream.

“Once we’ve proven the new tube with consumers, we intend to offer the technology to the makers of plastic tubes for all kinds of products. By encouraging others to use this technology, we can have an even bigger impact and increase the long-term market viability of this solution.”

Plastic tubes are used in different product categories ranging from cosmetics and personal care products to pharmaceuticals and food.

According to the company, toothpaste alone accounts for an estimated 20 billion tubes per annum across the world.

Colgate has used high-density polyethylene (HDPE) to make a recyclable tube. HDPE is said to be the widely recycled plastic that is generally used in bottle making.

To secure APR recognition, Colgate also carried out tests to demonstrate that its toothpaste tube could navigate the screens and conveyor belts at the critically important materials recovery facilities that sort recyclables.

Colgate utilised radio frequency identification tags to track the tubes and show that they would be properly sorted with plastic bottles.

APR president Steve Alexander said: “The Association of Plastic Recyclers appreciated the opportunity to partner with Colgate on this important project.”