The first-of-its-kind recyclable toothpaste tube

Introducing

The first-of-its-kind
recyclable toothpaste tube.

2USE IT

Enjoy! Squeeze and use as usual, until the toothpaste runs out.

1BUY SMART

By reaching for this toothpaste tube you're actively making a difference.

3RECYCLE IT

Our recyclable tube is not meant for a landfill it gets turned into useful products.

Together we can make a difference.

Made for the Future: The Recyclable Tube

We're so excited to bring this recyclable technology to life. Billions of toothpaste tubes end up in landfills every year. As the leaders in the oral care industry, we wanted to create a recyclable alternative. With this breakthrough, we're proudly helping to build a better future for generations to come. And we are sharing this technology with all other companies - we believe it's that important!

How to recycle

 

How to Recycle?

How do I recycle the tube? Do I need to cut open and remove all the leftover toothpaste in the tube, or rinse it out somehow?

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What it tube made from

 

What is this tube made of?

The tube is primarily made of HDPE (High Density Polyethylene), #2 plastic. The cap is made of PP (Polypropelyene), #5 plastic.

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Sharing technology

 

Why do we share our
tube technology?

This project isn’t about us, it’s about something bigger. By sharing our technology hopefully we can initiate a global shift to recyclable toothpaste tubes. Our dream is to have all tubes (not just toothpaste) be recycled in practice and at scale.

 

After recycle

 

What happens after the tubes are recycled?

Here's a quick example of the tubes lifecycle. Once the tube is in the recycle stream, it gets sent to places like a Materials Recovery Facility [MRF] where it would get sorted, then sent to a reprocessor who turns HDPE including bottles into little plastic pellets. These pellets can then get turned into new products and packaging!

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Questions? Find them here.

  • How do I recycle the tube?

    If your Colgate toothpaste displays the recyclable tube symbol, then it can be recycled either through local council recycling (follow local council guidelines for recycling HDPE #2 plastics) or TerraCycle. You can find out more about TerraCycle where you are, here: TerraCycle Australia & TerraCycle New Zealand.

    When recycling your tube simply squeeze out as much of the toothpaste from the tube as possible and recycle with the cap removed.

  • Are the caps recyclable?

    Colgate toothpaste caps are made from polypropylene, which is not generally collected in yellow bins or kerbside recycling. The cap can be recycled with other non recyclable oral care waste, such as plastic toothbrushes, through Terracycle. You can find out more about TerraCycle in your location, here: TerraCycle Australia & TerraCycle New Zealand.

    We are continuing with our research to convert all of our caps into a more compatible material with the HDPE stream.

  • What are you doing to ensure these tubes are accepted by recycling facilities?

    A lot, actually. We’re leading industry groups and working with industry partners globally and across Australia & New Zealand on education about recyclability and wider acceptance of recyclable tubes. We're sharing our knowledge and technology with any other interested company. We're also verifying the sortability of tubes through testing in real facilities to make sure there is not too much mis-sorting. The more recyclable tubes are used in the market and as more recyclers are educated about recyclable tubes, the easier it will become for reprocessors to recycle tubes coming their way.

  • Why are some of your toothpastes in the new recyclable tube while others aren’t?

    The plan is for all of our toothpaste tubes to be recyclable by the end of 2025. It takes time to make the transition, and during this time some of our toothpastes will be in recyclable tubes while others won't have transitioned yet. For now, make sure your tube is marked with the recyclable tube symbol before placing it into a recycling bin. Follow local council guidelines for recycling HDPE #2 plastics or recycle with TerraCycle.

    However, for tubes which are still making the transition, we've partnered with TerraCycle in Australia and New Zealand to give a second life to your used oral care packaging. Find out more about our Colgate Oral Care Recycling Program where you are here: TerraCycle Australia & TerraCycle New Zealand, and how you can help prevent eligible oral care packaging from ending up in landfill.

  • Is this tube biodegradable?

    No, this tube (and plastics in general) are not designed to be biodegradable. The #2 HDPE plastic used in our tubes can be re-processed into new products and packaging.

  • This tube is still made of plastic, how will it help the environment?

    Our recyclable tubes are made out of #2 HDPE plastic, which is one of the most recycled plastics. HDPE can be turned into all kinds of new things, from new packaging to fence posts! Switching to recyclable has the potential to keep millions of tubes out of landfills sites across Australia & New Zealand.

  • What is this tube made of?

    The tube is primarily made of HDPE (High Density Polyethylene), #2 plastic

    The cap is made of PP (Polypropylene), #5 plastic.

  • Why do we share our tube technology?

    This project isn't about us, it’s about something bigger. By sharing our technology hopefully we can initiate a global shift to recyclable toothpaste tubes. Our dream is to have all tubes (not just toothpaste) be recycled in practice and at scale.

  • What happens after the tubes are recycled?

    Once you have placed your recyclable tube into kerbside recycling or sent it to Terracycle, the tube enters the recycling process. It is sent to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) where it is sorted with other similar materials and then moves on to a reprocessor who cleans and processes the plastic into little plastic pellets. The pellets can then be turned into new products, packaging and more!