a friendlier tube for our planet.
learn about our new recyclable toothpaste tube and how you can help us treat our world friendlier.
we love to share the friendly and are stoked to introduce our new recyclable toothpaste tube. during this transition, your community may not yet accept tubes for recycling. check with your local community facilities for the freshest scoop.
questions? look no further.
what is the toothpaste tube made of?
the hello tube is primarily made of HDPE (High Density Polyethylene), #2 plastic. the cap is made of PP (Polypropylene), #5 plastic.
how do I recycle the tube? do I need to cut open and remove all the leftover toothpaste in the tube, or rinse it out?
we are psyched to be transitioning our entire toothpaste portfolio to recyclable tubes. this effort began in 2022 and will be completed by 2025, so not all tubes will immediately be recyclable. if your tube doesn’t have this symbol on it, please don’t put it in your recycling bin.
first, check to be sure that your tube has this symbol on it:
does your tube have this symbol? yay! then recycling is easy. simply squeeze out as much of the toothpaste from the tube as you can, put the cap back on and place the tube in your recycling bin. our tube recycles with #2 HDPE plastics. please don’t cut open the tube to try and remove excess toothpaste! during the processing of the tube at the recycling facility, the tube is ground up and goes through a “rinsing” process, where all the residual toothpaste is washed off the plastic. so there’s no need for you to do any rinsing at home.
will you still partner with Terracycle?
yes, Terracycle is still a partner with hello to offer recycling for our travel toothpaste tubes, toothpaste tubes that are not yet recyclable, toothbrushes, mouthwash, deo and for packaging we use for our other products that are not recyclable in municipal recycling programs.
is this tube biodegradable?
no, this tube (and plastics in general) are not designed to be biodegradable. the #2 HDPE plastic used in our tubes is designed to be “circular,” so that the material can be re-processed into new products and packaging.
why are some of your tubes recyclable while others aren’t?
our plan is for all of our toothpaste tubes to be recyclable by the end of 2025. it takes time to make this transition, and during this time, some of our toothpastes will be in recyclable tubes while others won’t have transitioned yet. for now, make sure your tube has this icon below before you recycle it:
can hello products be recycled?
yes, hello® products can be recycled through our partnership with TerraCycle. see our page for more details.
our boxes are made from FSC Certified paper, and are 100% recyclable. our mouthwash bottles and caps are also recyclable, and made with PCR (post-consumer regrind). our toothpaste caps are also recyclable. please follow your local county’s recycling practices–it’s good karma.
are the caps recyclable?
yes, the caps are technically recyclable. the best practice is to re-place the cap on the tube before placing it in the recycling bin. doing so will help avoid litter of caps. caps are made of a different plastic than the tube and some recyclers might prefer the caps to be removed before tubes are recycled. please check your local recycling rules to be sure. we are continuing with our research to convert all of ours caps into a more compatable material with the HDPE stream.
why do we share our tube technology?
we’re on a mission to make the world a friendlier place, one tube at a time! by sharing our technology, hopefully we can initiate a global shift to recyclable toothpaste tubes.
what happens once the tubes are recycled?
once the tube is in the recycle stream, it gets sent to places like a materials recovery facility [MRF] where it would get sorted, then sent to a reprocessor who turns HDPE into little plastic pellets. these pellets can then get turned into new products and packaging! so you’re not actually saying goodbye to your favorite tube, just see ya later!
what are you doing to ensure these tubes are accepted by recycling facilities?
in 2019, we earned recognition for technical recyclability from the APR (association of plastic recyclers), showing that tubes of the right design are compatible with the HDPE #2 container recycling process. Colgate also tested the sortability of tubes in the lab as well as in the field at MRFs (sorting facilities); data from these efforts shows that our full size tubes are able to make it through to the container line successfully, and there is minimal mis-sorting.
now that we’ve solved technical recyclability and proved compatibility with HDPE container recycling including sortability, we have been sharing the technology as well as the approach with tube suppliers, other brands, and any interested parties so that the transition to recyclable tubes can happen quickly, and recyclers can be confident that the tubes they receive are compatible. Because of this momentum, all major toothpaste brands have publicly committed to transition their tube portfolios by 2025, and a squeeze tube design guide is publicly available.
in addition to helping the industry transition their tubes, hello, in partnership with the Colgate-Palmolive Company, is focused on working with the recycling community by sharing our work on compatibility of recyclable tubes within the current recycling system, and partnering with key third parties to address turning “recyclable” into widely accepted and “recycled.”
a key collaborative effort we are funding is the journey to recyclability for plastic squeeze tubes project, managed by our partner, stina inc. anchored in the importance of avoiding contamination and improving the quality of recycled feedstock, this project is working through the critical elements needed for all tubes to be included in community lists of acceptable items in the recycling stream.
another example of work we are contributing to is the pathway to circularity: recyclability framework with the recycling partnership, which is creating the Framework to define a clear set of criteria to help companies successfully navigate the recycling system, and take action to address challenges, thereby making circularity tangible. we are active participants, having helped initiate the project, using tubes as a helpful case study, and are planning additional testing as the Framework protocols are agreed-upon by the circularity council driving the project.
even with all of these efforts, however, during this transition phase your community may not yet accept tubes for recycling. consumers should check with their local community programs to ensure that tubes are accepted. we are proud to be the leaders in this space and our goal is to continue developing innovative science that creates products that are ultimately better for our planet.