Colgate-Palmolive has finalised the design of a recyclable toothpaste tube after more than five years of development.
The company completed the design after it received recognition for recyclability from the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) last week.
Colgate plans to introduce the new recyclable toothpaste tube under its Tom’s of Maine brand in the US next year followed by a global launch in select markets.
It also plans to fully convert to recyclable tubes by 2025, after launching all of its products with 100% recyclable packaging.
Colgate-Palmolive executive vice-president, chief growth and strategy officer 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.”
In addition, the company used high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic to produce the recyclable tube at its technology campus in Piscataway, New Jersey.
Colgate’s research team tested a dozen different combinations, from six to 20 layers, to make the tube suitable for squeezing the toothpaste.
Colgate-Palmolive Global Sustainability, EOHS and Supply Chain Strategy vice-president Ann Tracy said: “We’re committed to using less plastic, and more recycled material, in our packaging.
“We’re helping to strengthen recycling by supporting the Closed Loop Fund and other efforts. And we’re exploring new ingredients and models, including TerraCycle’s Loop initiative for reusable, refillable packaging.”
Last month, Colgate-Palmolive joined TerraCycle’s Loop initiative for reusable, refillable packaging in an effort to reduce plastic waste.