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Colgate unveils recyclable toothpaste tubes – and offers tech to rivals

Colgate unveils recyclable toothpaste tubes – and offers tech to rivals

Colgate-Palmolive has revealed their first recyclable toothpaste tube – the result of five years research – and immediately offered the technology to rival companies to help reduce landfill waste.

Colgate Smile for Good plastic tubes use high-density polyethylene (HDPE), classified as recyclable by the Australasian Recycling Label Program of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO). It can be disposed of at kerbside plastic recycling bins.

“Making toothpaste tubes part of the circular economy will help keep plastic productive and eliminate waste,” said Simon Petersen, GM at Colgate-Palmolive South Pacific. 

“Colgate-Palmolive wants all toothpaste tubes to meet the same third-party recycling standards that we’ve achieved, so we are openly sharing our technology with toothpaste competitors as well as manufacturers of all kinds of tubes.”

Colgate Smile for Good tube’s HDPE material is based on the same plastic that companies used to make 2L milk bottles and other plastic containers that are recyclable. Its engineers developed a solution using different grades and thicknesses of HDPE laminated into a tube to make it squeezable since the type of plastic used on milk bottles is too rigid.

Most toothpaste tubes are usually made from sheets of plastic laminate with a thin layer of aluminium. These are difficult to recycle through conventional methods leading to 50 million tubes ending up in landfills annually in Australia.

The new toothpaste adds to the company’s global target to create 100-per-cent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025 and to reach Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets as well. 

Full story by Remedios Lucio at InsideFMCG