Colgate Releases Vegan-Certified Toothpaste in First-of-Its-Kind Recyclable Tube
Colgate has launched a new line of toothpaste in a fully recyclable tube, a first for toothpaste, as The Guardian reported.
Colgate's Smile For Good brand, which is only available in Europe right now, has been certified by The Vegan Society and comes in a tube made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is the same plastic used for milk containers, according to The Guardian.
Most types of toothpaste are made with glycerin, a byproduct of animal fat. The Smile For Good line, however, uses plant-sourced glycerin, according to USA Today.
Toothpaste brands also make their tubes out of a combination of several layers of plastics, polymers and resins that cannot be recycled and take more than 500 years to break down, as New Atlas reported. The new tubes, which use HDPE, are easy to recycle, according to USA Today.
Colgate also boasts that its product is 99.7 percent natural. Furthermore, in an industry first, each ingredient is listed and its purpose explained on the recyclable packaging, according to the Daily Mail. For example, the tube explains that silica cleans and polishes while glycerin prevents the paste from drying out, according to the The Guardian.
Yet, the new product has a hefty price tag compared to traditional toothpastes; it costs $6.50 at the British chain Waitrose compared to just over one-dollar for the other toothpaste tubes, as the Daily Mail reported.
To make the tube recyclable, engineers figured out how to mix different grades and thickness levels of the laminate in the tube to maintain the squeezable effect while also meeting recycling standards. Colgate is shooting for 100 percent recyclable packaging by 2025 across its product lines, according to the Daily Mail.
It will also share its tube's technology with its competition so the entire industry can meet third-party recycling requirements, as the Daily Mail reported.
"Colgate wants to make tubes a part of the circular economy by keeping this plastic productive and eliminating waste," said Noel Wallace, CEO and president of Colgate-Palmolive, as The Guardian reported. "If we can standardize recyclable tubes among all companies, we all win. We can align on these common standards for tubes and still compete with what's inside them."
A couple of entrepreneurs in Canada, however, have gone a step farther and created toothpaste tablets to eliminate the tube entirely, according to New Atlas.
"If we want to be sustainable, a fundamental change is required. We've developed toothpaste tablets that remove the need for a tube altogether. We want to ensure that our kids and their kids are able to live their lives in a safe, healthy environment," said Canadian entrepreneurs Mike Medicoff and Damien Vince to to New Atlas.
New Atlas explained how the product called Change Toothpaste works: "[T]he cleaning tablets are designed to be placed between the back teeth, gently bitten down upon, and then brushed with a wet toothbrush. The broken tablet then starts to foam and you can brush your teeth as usual."
Change Toothpaste is also vegan-friendly, as well as free from fluoride, gluten, dairy, nuts and soy. The entrepreneurs are working on an upgrade that will contain fluoride.
"After trying over a hundred formulations, we created the perfect toothpaste tablet recipe, that give you a clean, fresh brush without any harsh chemicals, and packaged in 100 percent compostable pouches. Just like paste, without the waste!" the pair said to New Atlas.
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It's going to be back-to-school time soon, but will children go into the classrooms?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) thinks so, but only as long as safety measures are in place.
Keeping Schools Safe<p>What will safer schools look like?</p><p>In a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2766822" target="_blank">JAMA article</a> published last month, <a href="https://www.jhsph.edu/faculty/directory/profile/1781/joshua-m-sharfstein" target="_blank">Dr. Joshua Sharfstein</a>, a pediatrician and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, outlined suggestions — many of which are similar to AAP's.</p><p>Remote learning protocols must stay in place, especially as some schools stagger home and in-building learning. If another shutdown needs to occur, children will rely on distance learning completely, so it must be easy to switch to, he said.</p><p>He suggested giving parents a daily checklist to document their child's health. Kids should be screened quickly on arrival and be given hygiene supplies. Maintenance staff should use appropriate PPE and have regular cleaning schedules. A notification system should be in place if a case is identified, Sharfstein recommended.</p><p><a href="https://www.albany.edu/rockefeller/faculty/erika-martin" target="_blank">Erika Martin</a>, PhD, an associate professor of public administration and policy at University at Albany, said nutrition assistance and health services should be included. She called for tutoring programs with virtual options as well as technology access.</p>
Supporting Staff<p>Teachers and staff will be affected by safeguarding measures, noted <a href="https://directory.sph.umn.edu/bio/sph-a-z/rachel-widome" target="_blank">Rachel Widome</a>, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology and community health at University of Minnesota.</p><p>"In order for all of the in-school precautions to work well, we'll be asking a lot of teachers and staff," Widome told Healthline. In addition to their usual workload, they'll now be asked to monitor mask-wearing, ensure children are keeping distance, and be aware of any symptoms.</p><p>Along with Sharfstein, Widome called for an increase in financial support. More employees will likely be required so teachers and staff members can keep up with the added demands.</p>
Should Kids Go Back?<p>While these guidelines may help get some schools to reopen, many people don't think children should go back to school over fears they could contract the disease and spread it to other vulnerable family members like grandparents, infant siblings, or their parents.</p><p>In a <a href="https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2020/07/08/peds.2020-004879" target="_blank">Pediatrics</a> commentary, <a href="https://www.md.com/doctor/william-raszka-md" target="_blank">Dr. William V. Raszka, Jr.</a>, an infectious disease specialist at The University of Vermont Medical Center, argued that schools should open because school-aged children are far less important drivers of COVID-19 than adults.</p><p>But he says the risk and benefit is not equal among all students ages 5 to 18.</p><p>"Elementary schools are arguably higher priority for face-to-face schooling, since younger children are at lower risk for infection and transmission, and since parental supervision of younger children's distance learning may be particularly challenging," added Sorensen, who penned a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2767411" target="_blank">June article in JAMA</a> with reopening tips. "That means middle and high schools are more likely to emphasize distance learning."</p><p>Specific student populations, such as special education students and students with disabilities, would also benefit greatly from more time spent in face-to-face environments, Sorensen said.</p>
What Parents Can Do<p>Parents should ask for and receive frequent updates from schools about plans for the fall. They should also be informed about plans if and when COVID infections are identified, Sharfstein said.</p><p>"I'd like to see parents investing now, during the summer, in doing things that can slow and stop the spread of the virus in their communities," Widome said.</p><p>"Now is a good time for kids to practice wearing masks and get used to them as they may be wearing them for longer stretches if school starts up in person," Widome suggested.</p><p>She recommends parents try different mask designs and materials to see what children are more comfortable wearing.</p><p>"If you are using cloth face coverings, it's good to have extras on hand," Widome added.</p><p>Parents should model healthy behavior at home and while out in public — another thing that could affect how well children adapt to reopening practices, Sorensen said.</p><p>"Children may want to know more about face coverings," added <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/leescott/" target="_blank">Lee Scott</a>, chairwoman of the Educational Advisory Board at <a href="https://www.goddardschool.com/" target="_blank">The Goddard School</a>. "Dramatic play, such as creating or wearing a face covering, may help some children adjust to this concept." Schools can also show children photos of what faculty members look like in their masks so the students are familiar with that appearance.</p><p>Johns Hopkins University recently released its eSchool+ Initiative, a slew of resources surrounding education during the pandemic. These include a <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/reopening-checklist/" target="_blank">checklist for administrators</a>, report on <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/ethics-of-reopening/" target="_blank">ethical considerations</a>, and a tracker of <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/reopening-policy-tracker/" target="_blank">state and local reopening plans</a>.</p>
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