Procter & Gamble toothpaste tubes will transition to recyclable material

December 2, 2020

The announcement is part of Procter & Gamble's commitment to achieving 100% recyclable packaging by 2030.

Procter & Gamble Oral Care will introduce recyclable toothpaste tubes across its Crest, Oral-B, and Blend-a-med brands beginning next year, the company announced on December 1. This announcement is in line with P&G’s commitment to achieving 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2030.

Crest and Oral-B and the European brand Blend-a-med will begin the switch in January, and the transition is expected to be completed by 2025. The multi-material composition of toothpaste tubes has been a challenge to recycling facilities, meaning millions of tubes end up in landfills each year.

To solve this issue, P&G will begin using high-density polyethylene (HDPE) to manufacture its toothpaste tubes. HDPE is designed to provide the same protection afforded by the current materials and has been certified by North American and European bodies to be compatible with existing recycling technologies. HDPE tubes can be recycled wherever collection programs already exist.

P&G is currently in discussions with several HDPE tube suppliers and has already reached an agreement with personal and beauty product packager Albéa to start using its Greenleaf Generation 2 tube technology. This allows tubes to be recycled wherever collection programs are in place. Additionally, Greenleaf Generation 2 tubes are recognized by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), and by RecyClass and SUEZ.circpack® in Europe.

In order to earn APR recognition, the Greenleaf Generation 2 tubes demonstrated that the toothpaste tubes could be converted into quality post-consumer HDPE resin, which was then reused to make new plastic bottles.

“P&G Oral Care started our sustainability journey many years back and continue to reduce our footprint. To drive a more circular supply chain, all of our production sites globally are qualified as sending zero manufacturing waste to landfill, and our sites across the United States, Canada, and Europe purchase 100% renewable electricity,” stated Steve Bishop, P&G Health Care CEO. “There is much yet to be done; however, we are proud of the steps we are taking with our leading brands, Crest in North America, and Oral B and Blend-a-med in Europe, to achieve recyclable tubes in the years ahead.”

“We have committed to enable and inspire responsible consumption through innovation on our product and packaging. Our leading oral care brands touch millions of people around the world,” added Virginie Helias, P&G’s chief sustainability officer. “This new packaging innovation will contribute to making the toothpaste tubes recyclable at scale in existing recycling streams, hence reducing our footprint and striving for circular solutions. It’s no longer about if or what we can do, but how quickly we can do it.”

For more information, visit pg.com.

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