Colgate among top-ranked in the Social Good Category for developing a first-of-its-kind recyclable plastic tube and openly sharing this technology with third parties.
March 9, 2021
Colgate-Palmolive Company has been named to Fast Company’s 2021 list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for developing a first-of-its-kind recyclable plastic tube and openly sharing this technology with third parties. Fast Company’s prestigious annual recognition celebrates the organizations that are transforming industries, shaping society and making the most profound impact on both business and culture.
Colgate’s award-winning solution transformed rigid, High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) — the same plastic used to make bottles — into soft, squeezable laminate tubes. Then Colgate experts worked with recycling associations to help to ensure alignment with existing standards so tubes could be recycled in the existing HDPE bottle stream.
The breakthrough is an accomplishment in itself, but the Company’s decision to share its technology sets a higher standard in the face of sustainability challenges. Colgate has shared the technology and its experience winning recognition from recycling associations in some 40 sessions — including packaging forums, industry conferences and one-on-one meetings with other companies. The campaign is having an impact: Since Colgate pioneered its breakthrough, most major tube-makers have followed with their own tubes.
The innovation is significant because until now tubes have been one of the most widely used forms of plastic packaging not suitable for recycling. Following Colgate’s pioneering work, which required more than five years of research, development and testing, all CPG companies can offer consumers tubes that are recyclable through existing channels.
Colgate’s recyclable toothpaste tubes are available under iconic brands such as Colgate Optic White and Tom’s of Maine in North America, Colgate Smile for Good in Europe and Asia, and Colgate Natural Extracts in Latin America. The tube is on-pace to be fully rolled out to all Colgate brands by 2025, when 100% of Colgate’s packaging is targeted to be recyclable, reusable and/or compostable.
“Colgate is a caring, innovative growth company dedicated to reimagining a healthier future. Our extraordinary teams work around the world to fulfill our purpose, and we are proud to see their efforts recognized for the essential benefits they bring to people, pets and the planet,” said Noel Wallace, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Colgate-Palmolive.
With a brand that is found in more homes than any other, Colgate is leading and contributing to the circular economy. In addition to the recyclable tube innovation, the Company recently unveiled its 2025 Sustainability & Social Impact Strategy, which sets ambitious targets for reducing plastic waste, conserving water and improving oral health. By 2025, Colgate is targeting to eliminate unnecessary and problematic packaging, reduce the use of new plastics in packaging by one-third and make all packaging recyclable, reusable and/or compostable.
The Company is already beginning to deliver on these ambitious goals. In February 2021, Colgate launched Keep, a reimagined toothbrush with an aluminum handle and replaceable brush head that contains 80% less plastic than a similarly sized Colgate toothbrush.
The Fast Company recognition comes during a period in which the Company has earned numerous awards for its purpose-driven innovations, forward-thinking corporate culture and ongoing commitment to sustainability. Most recently, the Company was named to Fortune’s 2020 Change The World List, was recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Large Employers in 2021 and earned a spot on the 2020 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for the fourth consecutive year.
Fast Company’s March/April 2021 World’s Most Innovative Companies issue featuring Colgate’s recognition is now available online, and it will be on newsstands beginning on March 16, 2021. To learn more about Colgate’s purpose-driven innovations, visit: https://www.colgatepalmolive.com/en-us/core-values/sustainability or https://www.linkedin.com/company/colgate-palmolive/.