Colgate launches first-ever toothpaste with a recyclable tube

Yet another company has joined the crusade against the global menace of land pollution by choosing to switch their product packaging to recyclable options.

On Tuesday Colgate unveiled their new product “Smile for good” toothpaste – a first of its kind. The tubes for this product are made from high density polyethylene (HDPE) making them the first recycle friendly toothpaste tube. The same material is used to make milk containers.

In their media release, Colgate-Palmolive’s Chief Executive Noel Wallace explains, “Colgate wants to make tubes a part of the circular economy by keeping this plastic productive and eliminating waste. If we can standardise recyclable tubes among all companies, we all win. We can align on these common standards for tubes and still compete with what’s inside them.”

Traditionally it was impossible to recycle toothpaste tubes as they were made of a mixture of plastic and aluminium. Though it looks likes a simple easy switch, it took Colgate’s engineers around five years to develop this tube.

It took them five years because getting HDPE to be a squeezable tube wasn’t easy. They tried different grades of HDPE and none of it worked. After many attempts, they were able to find a solution – using a “right combination” of different HDPEs that “allows people to comfortably squeeze out all the toothpaste, protects the integrity of the product, and meets the demands of high-speed production.”

The toothpaste is also special in itself. It’s free of all animal products and Colgate claims 99.7% percent of its ingredients are natural. The toothpaste comes certified by the vegan society. 

Colgate-Palmolive (CL), which owns the Colgate brand, is pledging to use 100% recyclable packaging on all its products by 2025. Like Colgate other companies such as P&G, Starbucks, Coca-Cola have shifted their focus into creating more sustainable products. We need companies to actively push for sustainable products to effectively tackle the rising problem of pollution.


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