THE WHAT? Colgate-Palmolive has begun the switch to a first-of-its-kind recyclable toothpaste tube and will share the technology.
THE DETAILS The company’s Tom’s of Maine has unveiled the first tube recognized by the Association of Plastic Recyclers. The brand will debut the tube for its Antiplaque & Whitening toothpaste and complete the switch across all of its toothpastes in 2020, when the Colgate brand will initiate the transition in Europe and North America.
The company will complete modifications to tube-making equipment at more than a dozen of its facilities worldwide by 2025 and will share the innovative technology freely with its competitors in a bid to up recycling rates for ‘one of the most widely used forms of plastic packaging’.
“Colgate wants to make tubes a part of the circular economy by keeping this plastic productive and eliminating waste,” said Noel Wallace, Chief Executive Officer and President of Colgate-Palmolive. “This advancement can make a significant difference in the marketplace today as we test new packaging materials, product formats and refillable models to reduce our use of plastic.
“If we can standardize recyclable tubes among all companies, we all win. We want all toothpaste tubes — and eventually all kinds of tubes — to meet the same third-party recycling standards that we’ve achieved. We can align on these common standards for tubes and still compete with what’s inside them.”
THE WHY? Wallace said that the decision to freely share the tube technology aligns with the company’s values and sustainability goals, as well as contributing to its work supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.