My wife and I use this contraption to get the last drop of toothpaste out of the tube:
They sell them on eBay for less than ten bucks. Painters use them for paint tubes. There's a fancier version called the Big Squeeze, below, that looks more ergonomic, but they run nearly $40.
Colgate-Palmolive has a new toothpaste tube design that obviates the need for a squeezer. CP's new Elixir line of toothpaste is packaged in a PET stand-up tube whose insides are lined with a friction-free LiquiGlide coating. LiquiGlide is a Cambridge-based company whose coating technology allows the last drop of product (whether ketchup or toothpaste) to slide right out of the bottle.
I'm curious to see how customers will respond to that black toothpaste. In any case the PET used in the Elixir packaging is, of course, recyclable on its own; however, I could find no mention on either Colgate nor LiquiGlide's site of whether the coating impacts the package's recyclability.
Colgate competitor Unilever has changed up their toothpaste packaging to improve recyclability. You may recall that traditional toothpaste tubes are made of both aluminum and plastic which, while recyclable on their own, are impossible to practically separate and recycle. As a result, traditional toothpaste tubes aren't really recyclable. Thus Unilever has developed a tube "made mostly of HDPE," and the company says these are recyclable. They're scheduled to roll out in France under their Signal brand. However, there's no word on whether the new packaging makes it any easier to completely evacuate the product, which needs to be done prior to recycling.
Perhaps those Bite Toothpaste Bits, which require no plastic packaging at all, make the most ecological sense. (Weirdness: At press time something was up with Bite's website—it was flashing in a seizure-inducing way.)
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