Colgate-Palmolive has announced the launch of Smile for Good, a new toothpaste featuring a recyclable plastic tube – a first for Australian toothpaste.

Colgate Smile for Good is made with 99.7 per cent natural ingredients and its packaging is the first of its kind to be categorised as recyclable by the Australasian Recycling Label Program. It is made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and can be placed in kerbside plastic recycling bins.

After five years in the making, Colgate is openly sharing its tube technology with interested companies and competitors with an aim to encourage all toothpaste tubes to become recyclable.

Simon Petersen, General Manager, Colgate-Palmolive South Pacific, said: “The Colgate brand is in more homes than any other, so we can, and we will create a healthier, more sustainable future for all with this significant packaging development.

“Making toothpaste tubes part of the circular economy will help keep plastic productive and eliminate waste. There is a lot of work ahead but launching Colgate Smile for Good is a major first step.”

Most of today’s toothpaste tubes are made from sheets of plastic laminate – usually a combination of different plastics – sandwiched around a thin layer of aluminium. The mix of materials makes it difficult to recycle through conventional methods. As a result, some 50 million tubes go into landfill annually in Australia, which is the equivalent to stretching twice across Australia.

Colgate Smile for Good changes this by using HDPE, the same plastic used to make two-litre milk bottles and other plastic containers that are already widely recycled.

Brooke Donnelly, CEO of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), which runs the Australian Recycling Label Program, congratulated Colgate for bringing the first of its kind packaging to market.

“It’s fantastic to see companies striving to phase out difficult to recycle materials, innovating to find recyclable alternatives and sharing those learnings and technology to help transform the wider market,” she said.

“This collective, ambitious approach by organisations across the supply chain will be critical for Australia to meet its upcoming waste and recycling deadlines, including the 2025 National Packaging Targets.”

The launch of Colgate Smile for Good is a step towards the brand’s goal of achieving a global target of 100 per cent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025. And as a result of the Smile for Good tube technology, Colgate-Palmolive was named on Fast Company World’s most innovative companies list in March 2021.

Colgate Smile for Good toothpaste is now available for purchase across all major retailers in Australia with an RRP of $8.00.

The toothpaste is available in two types: Smile for Good Protection and Smile for Good Natural White. The range also includes Smile for Good Protection mouthwash, Colgate Bamboo Charcoal toothbrush, and Smile for Good dental floss.

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