More product manufacturing companies are coming under increasing pressure to make their products more environmentally friendly, and that includes reviewing their packaging choices to make sure that packaging tubes used to carry the product to market can be successfully recycled after use from home. This is where a quality tube testing machine makes all the difference.
Major brand name, Colgate, are leading the way with their transition to using recyclable toothpaste tubes. They launched a campaign in January 2020 called ‘Smile for Good’ that uses recyclable toothpaste tubes that are made from a plastic material that is widely accepted at materials recycling facilities (MRFs) in the UK.
Colgate is also helping to promote the use of recyclable tubes across health & beauty and pharmaceutical sectors by being willing to share its technology with their competitors. It is hoped that by taking this step, it will help to create a new ‘standard’ for plastic tube packaging.
Launched on 13th January 2020, the new toothpaste product is packaged in a tube made from High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). Not only is the tube material strong and flexible for use, but it is a widely recycled plastic that is also used for manufacturing plastic bottles and milk jugs.
Before launching their new toothpaste, Colgate subjected their tubes to rigorous laboratory testing to ensure that the new tube packaging and design would be safe, robust and flexible enough for practical use.
They also make sure that the empty tubes could be successfully recycled by consulting with and visiting real-world material recycling facilities in both the US and Canada to understand how their new tube packaging would be sorted and recycled.
The move to recyclable tubes came about because Colgate wanted to reduce their environmental impact. According to their research, Colgate toothpaste tubes account for around 20 billion tubes sold annually around the world.
Colgate traditional toothpaste tubes are made from sheets of plastic laminate sandwiched around a thin layer of aluminium, making them impossible to recycle through normal waste routes.
Now that leading manufacturers such as Colgate are spearheading the move into transitioning their plastic tube packaging to a recyclable option, many other manufacturers are set to follow suit.
This means that new recyclable tube packaging will need to be devised and tested to ensure its suitability to hold product without any adverse chemical reactions happening that could spoil the product or cause the packaging to breakdown. The new Colgate tube combines different grades and thicknesses of HDPE laminate which helps them to meet recycling standards but at the same time helping to protect the toothpaste inside.
The tubes have also been tested to ensure that they remain usable and easily ‘squeezable’ while being able to withstand high-speed factory production.
If recyclable plastic tubes become standard among all toothpaste manufacturing companies, as it looks set to do, eventually all kinds of plastic tubes will need to meet the same recycling standards being set by Colgate and other innovative producers.
This is why it will be more important than ever for product manufacturers that use tube packaging to invest in a tube testing machine. As new tube packaging is designed and constructed, its efficacy will need to be tested to the highest standard to make sure that new recyclable tubes are fit for purpose before being released to the market.
As we have discussed before in a previous post, consumers will often buy a product because it comes in an appealing and practical package, such as a plastic tube. Should that packaging fail in some way, they will be discouraged from purchasing your product again.
Why not talk to our friendly team as MSD about our tube testing machines. We have the technology available to help you make a successful switch to more environmentally friendly tube packaging for your future needs.