Colgate-Palmolive’s recyclable toothpaste tube tested by RecyClass

27 January 2020

An independent laboratory testing of ‘S.-VF1’ known as ‘Samson Technology’ in the US by Colgate-Palmolive shows that it can be recycled in a high-density polyethylene containers (HDPE) recycling stream, with minor recyclability issues. ‘S.-VF1’ is a directly printed toothpaste packaging made of HDPE containing 5% (by weight) of ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) barrier, and a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) insert.

According to the results that were obtained from the laboratory tests done by the Institut für Kunststofftechnologie und -recycling (IKTR), carried out as per the Recyclability Evaluation Protocol for HDPE containers the tube is considered to be compatible with recycling.

The laboratory analysis shows that the recycled material derived from ‘S.-VF1’, to produce new HDPE bottles, demonstrate minimal differences when compared to other HDPE bottles that were made of a recyclate which did not contain the innovative material. This means that the recycled material generated by processing ‘S.-VF1’ tubes can be used back in similar products as it was attested as being relevant for high-end applications. However, the innovative tube has a small adverse impact on the recycling yields due to mass losses (around 20%), resulting from the PET insert.

Consequently, RecyClass certifies that ‘S.-VF1’ tube will not have a negative impact on the current European HDPE containers recycling provided that this type of tubes is designed under specific conditions. These include, among others, the requirement on the composition of the body of the package which must be white and has to be made of PE. Additionally, any other components like for example closures, liners, seals and valves, must be made of polyethylene (PE). The use of EVOH as a functional barrier, on the other hand, must be limited to 5% of the total weight of the tube.  The full list of the conditions can be found in the Colgate Palmolive RecyClass Product Approval.

The Colgate-Palmolive’s ‘S.-VF1’ tube received, equally, last year a recognition on its recyclability from The Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR) in the US.

The findings of the RecyClass testing contribute to the constructive developments within the design for recycling for toothpaste packaging and overall, add to the developments in increasing the recycling rates in this stream.

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