GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare division (GSKCH) announced today that it is partnering with Albéa and EPL Global to launch recyclable toothpaste tubes across its toothpaste brands, including Sensodyne, Parodontax and Aquafresh.

The first partnership, with strategic packaging supplier Albéa, will see GSKCH switch its toothpaste tubes from aluminium barrier laminates to the patented Greenleaf laminate. The switch-over will begin with Sensodyne Pronamel tubes, which will be available in recyclable alternatives in Europe this July.

A second partnership with EPL Global will produce tubes in Platina laminate. Both laminates have passed recycling-readiness tests set by the US-based Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) and by Europe’s RecyClass, meaning that the tubes will be recyclable and compatible with existing recycling processes.

GSKCH anticipates that these moves combined will see over a billion toothpaste tubes per year become recyclable by 2025.

Sarah McDonald, VP of sustainability at GSKCH, says: “We are fighting every day to help eradicate preventable oral health problems and to provide people with better, more sustainable oral care solutions that don’t compromise on quality.

“We have made the commitment that 100% of our product packaging will be recyclable or reusable, where quality and safety permits, by 2025. This is just one part of our ongoing sustainability journey, in which we are working to address the environmental and societal barriers to everyday health.”

Earlier this year, the company launched what it described as its “first sustainable toothbrush”, ‘Dr. Best’, in Germany. Made from sustainably-cultivated bamboo, with a biodegradable handle, the Dr. Best brush features plastic-free packaging made from recycled cardboard.

For Sensodyne and Aquafresh, the company has also launched plastic-free toothbrush packaging featuring a cellulose gum window that enables shoppers to see the brush inside.

GSKCH’s sustainability initiatives support GSK’s new company-wide commitment to achieving a net-zero impact on climate and a positive impact on nature by 2030, which was announced by CEO Emma Walmsley in November 2020.