Colgate is rolling out its breakthrough recyclable tube in the U.S. and using a bold message on its package to help get the word out.
Colgate-Palmolive’s tube, the first to be recognized by external recycling authorities as recyclable, is made from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), the same No. 2 plastic used for milk and detergent bottles. Recycling the tube alongside plastic bottles requires no extra steps — no rinsing, cutting or cleaning before tossing it into a recycling bin.
But making a toothpaste tube that is recyclable is only half the battle. Traditionally, since most of the world’s toothpaste tubes are made with a mix of materials, they have not been recycled. Globally, that adds up to 20 billion toothpaste tubes a year that are tossed in the trash.
To alert shoppers that the Colgate tube is now recyclable, Colgate is bringing it out in a “Recycle Me!” tube. The bold, limited edition graphics will be found on select tubes of Colgate® Optic White Advanced Sparkling White, Colgate® Cavity Protection, Colgate® Max Fresh Cool, and Colgate® Total Whitening, with the transition of the rest of the Colgate toothpaste line to be completed by 2023.
The goal of “Recycle Me!” is to build awareness of recyclable tubes not only among consumers, but also the operators of the Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) that sort plastic, reprocessors that make resin from recycled plastic, and other recycling stakeholders.
“As the global toothpaste leader with a brand found in more homes than any other, we want to lead in waste reduction and, in particular, making toothpaste tubes a part of the circular economy. The Recycle Me! tube is designed to educate and engage consumers and the recycling community who are both essential to progress, and we are excited to initiate and learn from our upcoming pilot program,” said Dana Medema, Vice President & General Manager, Oral Care for Colgate-Palmolive in North America.