How to reduce plastic, tube by tube

smile for goodAlmost two thirds of people are not aware that you cannot recycle toothpaste tubes (Colgate-Palmolive, 2019).

Colgate is proud to launch a first-of-its kind recyclable toothpaste tube, setting a new standard for the industry. Colgate has also shared this breakthrough technology with competitors as part of its campaign to transform one of the most widely used forms of plastic packaging. It is therefore committed to making 100% of packaging recyclable by 2025, building a future to smile about.

Sheets of plastic laminate make up most of today’s toothpaste tubes. This is also usually a combination of different plastics – sandwiched around a thin layer of aluminium. The mix of materials makes it therefore impossible to recycle through conventional methods. Colgate Smile for Good toothpaste consequently changes this. It uses high density polyethylene (HDPE), the plastic in milk jugs and other plastic bottles, already widely recycled.

Colgate Smile for Good and Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrush

New Colgate Smile for Good toothpaste contains a minimal number of ingredients that are 99.7% natural. The front of the pack lists all the ingredients and the purpose of them. Smile for Good toothpaste has been certified by Cosmos Natural Ecocert.

The Colgate Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrush includes a 100% natural, biodegradable bamboo handle*** and is free from plastic packaging, so it’s a great choice for environmentally conscious people.

Colgate Oral Care Recycling programme

Colgate is working with Terracycle to recycle oral care products and packaging preventing them from ending up in landfill sites across the UK. We can now separate the oral care products and packaging by polymer type, clean them, before extruding it into plastic pellets to make new recycled products.

More than 300,000 recycled oral care products, including toothbrushes, tubes, electric toothbrush heads and toothbrush and toothpaste packaging were used to build Cranford Park Primary School’s new playground. It’s the first of its kind in the UK in partnership with Colgate and Terracycle.

To learn more about Colgate’s sustainability strategy, visit

Colgate-Palmolive (2019) The conscious consumer survey n=800 UK respondents

*** Remove bristles. Compostable in municipal compost facilities, where available.

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