One of the recyclability challenges of FMCG packaging such as toothpaste tubes is that multilayer laminates composed of different types of materials e.g different plastic polymers, together with aluminium and paper are hard to separate and hence to recycle. Let aside the fact that local collection systems in many countries are not configured to sort different types of packaging.
Colgate challenged typical packaging design practice. They were open to explore the path of monomaterial layers to obtain the same functionality, i.e squeezability. It resulted in a new type of toothpaste packaging based on HPDE which is already used for recyclable milk jugs. Furthermore, they intend to make it an open technology so that the whole market can widely adopt this type of design. This aims to generate a bigger flow of similar materials to ensure that the recycling infrastructure follows. This is similar to the recent open tech move by Tesla who shared its new battery technology.
In conclusion, to win on the recyclability front we should move away from the old-fashioned "not invented here" and competitive business approach. We should be ready to rethink our product-pack-combination deeply by learning from other industries and share wisdom with others in a coopetition mindset.
See below more details from the Colgate news on Beauty Packaging magazine.