In line with its packaging targets and commitment to avoiding plastic waste, Henkel is set to convert its entire oral care tube portfolio to recyclable tubes produced by its packaging supplier Albéa.

The transition, to be concluded across all oral care brands at the beginning of next year, will be pioneered by the Spanish toothpaste brand Licor del Polo.

The pack in question, the Greenleaf tube, is recognized by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (USA) and Suez.CircPack (Europe) as technically recyclable within the existing HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) bottle recycling stream.

Further, this unique tube-making technology uses a single-blown film, thus reportedly significantly reducing the product’s CO2 footprint.

Earlier this year, Albéa announced a similar collaboration with Colgate on what it described as “Europe’s first recyclable toothpaste tube”. That tube was also made from HDPE, a recyclable polymer that is widely used for milk containers and other plastic bottles.

Philippe Blank, head of packaging sustainability at Henkel Beauty Care comments: “We want to foster a circular economy and pursue ambitious packaging targets. This joint development is a major step for us to further improve the recyclability of our packaging portfolio and is contributing significantly towards our goal of achieving 100% recyclability by 2025. 

“By introducing Albéa’s Greenleaf technology, we are now shifting more than 700 tonnes of packaging material per year into a category that can be utilized and recovered in existing waste recycling streams."

Zoran Joksic, sales director at Albéa, adds: “With Henkel, we are demonstrating that leading companies with established brands such as Licor del Polo are at the forefront of the sustainability challenge. What makes a difference is the brand’s sense of purpose– and this is a value that Albéa shares with Henkel.”

Regarding the future of the partnership, Blank concludes: “We have a clear goal: Together we want to launch the world’s first full HDPE tube in 2021, which will then include the cap as well.”