Colgate's first recyclable toothpaste tube is now available in South Africa. The oral care brand has launched its new Naturals toothpaste range, with packaging composed of a recyclable plastic tube inside a recycled carton box.
100% recyclable packaging by 2025
Most of today's toothpaste tubes are made from sheets of plastic laminate – usually a combination of different plastics – sandwiched around a thin layer of aluminum. The mix of materials makes it impossible to recycle through conventional methods.
The Colgate Naturals range changes this in South Africa using high-density polyethylene (HDPE), the plastic used to make milk jugs and other plastic bottles that is already widely recycled. The tube has received recognition from the APR (Association of Plastic Recyclers) and RecyClass (an initiative that works on improving recyclability of packaging) which sets recyclability standards for North America and Europe respectively.
“Building on ongoing efforts to help people make small, sustainable changes for the better, the recyclable tube is a way Colgate is improving the sustainability profile of our products to help achieve our aim of 100% recyclable packaging by 2025. With this breakthrough, we’re proudly helping to build a more environmentally friendly future for generations to come,” said Francois Falls, general manager, Colgate South Africa.
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Information sharing inspiring industry change
Toothpaste alone accounts for an estimated 20 billion tubes annually around the world, and so Colgate is sharing its innovative technology with competitors as part of its commitment to transform one of the most widely-used forms of plastic packaging that up until now could not be recycled.
Colgate wants to make tubes a part of the circular economy by keeping this plastic productive and eliminating waste.
"We’re very excited to bring this recyclable technology to life in South Africa. If recyclable tubes are standardised 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," adds Falls.
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Colgate’s 2025 Sustainability and Social Impact Strategy focuses on three ambitions: promoting well-being and inclusivity; helping people develop healthy habits; and preserving and improving the environment. They are supported by actionable targets that uphold Colgate’s continued commitment to building environmental and social consciousness into every decision.
The Colgate Naturals range is available now at all major retailers in South Africa. The three variants include Charcoal, Hemp Seed Oil and Aloe Vera which contain ingredients that are 99.7% of natural origin to make the paste optimal for everyday protection.