Colgate Palmolive has unveiled a new vegan-friendly toothpaste in a recyclable plastic tube and says it will share the technology with rival brands to help reduce single-use plastic pollution.
Toothpaste tubes have traditionally been impossible to recycle because they are made from a mixture of plastic and aluminium - making the new product a potentially big change for the industry.
Around 20 billion single-use toothpaste tubes are produced around the world each year.
Colgate says it hopes to 'standardise recyclable tubes among all companies' in the future to improve recycling rates. The new toothpaste, on sale in Waitrose and Boots, costs £5 for 75ml which is more than six times the cost of a regular tube of Colgate. The company says it hopes to improve its sustainability and have 100 per cent recyclable packaging by 2025. Colgate’s Smile for Good Toothpaste is housed in a plastic tube made from different grades of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), which is commonly used to make milk jugs and plastic bottles that are widely recycled. Bosses say by combining different grades and thicknesses of HDPE laminate the 'tube meets recycling standards and is still squeezable while protecting the product'. It has also been certified by the Vegan Society for its ingredients and components which are derived from natural sources. Colgate Palmolive’s chief executive Noel Wallace said: “Colgate wants to make tubes a part of the circular economy by keeping this plastic productive and eliminating waste. "If we can standardise 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.”
Wondering about other eco friendly toothpastes? Here's Plastic Free Central's independent review of Happier Beauty's new eco toothpaste, which also lists all of its ingredients on the packaging