Innovation Story

25 Jan 2022

Colgate-Palmolive is making the switch to recyclable toothpaste tubes

Colgate-Palmolive is reimagining a healthier future for all people, their pets and our planet. To help fulfill its purpose, the company began in 2019 the switch to a first-of-its-kind recyclable toothpaste tube and introduced the first tube under the Tom’s of Maine brand. The transition in Europe and North America started in 2020.

Traditionally, toothpaste tubes were made from sheets of plastic laminate, usually a combination of different plastics – often placed around a thin layer of aluminum. The mix of materials makes it difficult to recycle through conventional methods, even with a significant portion of polyethylene (PE). To make its recyclable tube, Colgate chose High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) which is one of the most widely recyclable plastics globally.

Colgate’s engineers found a way to combine different grades and thicknesses of HDPE laminate into a tube that meets recycling standards, protects the product and holds up to the demands of high-speed production, while remaining comfortably squeezable for the consumer.

The innovation contributes to Colgate’s sustainability action to eliminate plastic waste.

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