Colgate launches a toothbrush that uses 80% less plastic

Colgate's new product line is called “Keep” and strives to make a big difference to reduce plastic waste.


Toothbrushes populate landfills like no other product. Non-electric ones are difficult to recycle, given their small size, the mix of materials, and limitations in municipal recycling capabilities, meaning that they end up being tossed in landfills or in the ocean. Talking about numbers, last year just in the United States 495 million toothbrushes were purchased, while Colgate sells 30% of the world’s demand: there is a need to cut down on this waste.



“We believe everyone deserves a future to smile about”, Colgate’s mission. From vegan formulas and exceptional ingredients to what they are using in their sustainable packaging, Colgate is committing to creating a healthier planet and work every day.

This new “Colgate Keep” line is designed with a replaceable brush head and a reusable aluminum handle to inspire people to make the switch, step by step. During the last ten years, the partnership with TerraCycle allowed to recycle more than 5 million toothbrushes and items for oral care that were pointing directly to the landfill: Keep represents another consistent solution.



As people do not want to sacrifice efficacy, “Keep” will come with two bristle variants: “Whitening” with spiral polishing bristles and “Deep Clean” with floss-tip bristles. They will both be featured with cheek and tongue cleaner, to allow an even greater efficiency against bacteria.

Their structure is composed of a replaceable head, which uses 80% less plastic than traditional Colgate manual toothbrushes, and a lightweight aluminum handle, a long-lasting solution to fight the throwaway. The outer cardboard packaging is made with 60% recycled content, all of which is recyclable.


As the battle against plastic waste keeps going, Colgate knows there is more work to do.

Their focus is reflected on “Colgate's 2025 Sustainability & Social Impact Strategy”. The company is focusing on three fields: promoting well-being and inclusivity, helping people develop healthy habits, and preserving and improving the environment. Among the company's social and environmental sustainability actions, a key target is to cut the amount of toothbrush plastic waste in half by 2025. Additionally, the company will eliminate one-third of new plastics as part of the transition to 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable plastic packaging by 2025.



The hard part will now be convincing customers to part with Colgate’s current toothbrush. Their strategy seems to be making this item as familiar as possible: it is priced at 9.99$ for a starter kit with two heads (similarly to traditional Colgate brushes), while the refill kit costs 4.99$ for two brush heads. Furthermore, the aluminum base is light and solid, very ergonomic, and easy to use; while swapping out the head is practical and refills are readily available on online retailers.

Sources:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/power-of-optimism

https://www.colgate.it/oral-health

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/colgate-keep-reduces-small-plastic-waste-to-make-a-big-difference-301218591.html#:~:text=Colgate%20is%20working%20its%20innovative,contain%2080%25%20less%20plastic*

https://www.fastcompany.com/90599450/millions-of-toothbrushes-go-into-landfills-each-year-colgate-is-trying-to-make-a-dent-in-that

https://www.waste360.com/plastics/colgate-keep-reduces-small-plastic-waste-make-big-difference

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