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Colgate launches recyclable toothpaste tube in South Africa

Dental product manufacturer Colgate on April 22 launched its recyclable toothpaste tube in South Africa to coincide with Earth Day.

Made from number two high-density polyethylene (HDPE), the new tubes will contain one of three Colgate Naturals toothpaste, including its charcoal, hemp seed oil and aloe vera variants of toothpaste.

Colgate claims that, historically, toothpaste tubes have been made of materials that cannot be recycled, including certain plastics and aluminium foil.

However, its new tubes, which were launched in other regions in 2020, have been developed to contain nine layers, using two grades of HDPE plastic and which can be recycled by companies capable of handling HDPE materials.

Colgate South Africa GM Francois Falls says that, while the new recyclable tubes are a Colgate project, the outcomes from it should be for the broader toothpaste manufacturing community. In this regard, he says Colgate plans to openly share its innovation with other companies. “Our dream is to have all tubes, not only toothpaste, be recycled in practise and at scale.”

Colgate also has plans to move all its toothpaste products into recyclable tubes in the future.

It further states that it is working with third-party recyclers to establish recycling capacity for its new tubes.