Can Toothpaste Packaging Be Recycled?

Can Toothpaste Packaging Be Recycled?

 

A question we should all ask, the issue of recycling toothpaste packaging is one that garners a lot of attention due to its environmental impact. With over a billion plastic toothpaste tubes thrown into landfills each year, it's a topic that deserves a closer look.

Most toothpaste tubes are made from sheets of plastic laminate, which typically combine various plastics sandwiched around a thin layer of aluminum. This aluminum layer helps protect the toothpaste's flavor and fluoride, but it also complicates the recycling process. There are two primary types of toothpaste tubes: Plastic Barrier Laminate (PBL) and Aluminum Barrier Laminate (ABL) tubes.


How to Tell Them Apart?

  1. PBL Tubes: These tubes return to their original shape after being pressed. They consist entirely of plastic layers, including:

   - Polyethylene Outer Layer: This is the visible plastic coating, usually bright white, where digital printing occurs.

   - Middle Adhesive Layer: Another polyethylene layer that bonds the protective barrier to the outer layer.

   - Inner EVOH Barrier: This plastic layer protects the toothpaste from oxygen, extending its shelf life.

  1. ABL Tubes: These tubes do not return to their original shape once pressed. They have a similar outer and adhesive layer to PBL tubes but include an aluminum layer instead of the EVOH barrier.

The Recycling Problem

The cardboard boxes that toothpaste tubes come in are generally recyclable, provided they don't have plastic laminates. However, the tubes themselves are problematic. The combination of multiple plastics and, in some cases, aluminum means each component would require a different recycling process. According to a study published in the British Dental Journal in 2021, it takes about 500 years for a toothpaste tube to biodegrade in a landfill. This long degradation time means that every tube you've ever used could still be sitting in a landfill or even in the ocean.


The Ecological and Financial Impact

Aside from their environmental footprint, these tubes don't offer good value for money. The same study mentions that up to 10% of toothpaste is left in the tube when you think it's empty, meaning you could be discarding a significant amount of product.

Consumer Power and Industry Responsibility

Producers, promoters, and distributors need to prioritize ecological criteria when creating packaging. As consumers, we can drive change by opting for 100% recyclable or refillable packaging. This demand will push the industry to adapt to our needs.


AVO's Solution: Recyclable Toothpaste Packaging

At AVO, we are committed to reducing our environmental impact while providing excellent oral care. Our fluoride-free, refreshing mint toothpaste is packaged in recyclable tubes made from post-consumer resin. This means the plastic used in our packaging is recycled and reused, preventing the production of new plastic.

AVO's Refreshing Mint Toothpaste is also made with high-quality, all-natural ingredients, including organic avocado oil and xylitol, ensuring a refreshing and effective clean without harmful chemicals. By choosing AVO, you're not only taking care of your oral health but also making an eco-friendly choice that supports a sustainable future.

Together, we can make a difference, with a healthier smile and a healthier planet.

Until next time,

 

Amy + Jess

 

xo

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