Colgate – Cleaning The Teeth And The Planet

In Environment, Clean Truth, Health, News, Products, Sustainability

Our landfills are a graveyard for old, plastic toothbrushes. Last year, 495 million nonelectric toothbrushes were purchased in the U.S. They’re not recyclable, which means the vast majority get tossed or end up in the ocean.

Colgate, which sells 30% of the world’s toothbrushes, is trying to cut down on this waste. It has recently launched Keep, a redesigned manual toothbrush that contains 80% less plastic.

At first glance it looks like a traditional toothbrush. But upon closer inspection, you’ll see that the handle is made from aluminum, designed to last a lifetime.

The brush head, which is made from plastic, snaps onto the handle and is replaceable, though not recyclable.

Colgate has partnered with recycling platform TerraCycle to collect and recycle toothbrushes, but in the last decade has managed to recycle only 5 million, less than 1% of the brushes it manufactured during this period.

Colgate has committed to cutting its use of virgin plastics by a third by 2025.

Keep is one step toward this goal. But now, Colgate must convince customers to part with their current toothbrush. The brand’s strategy seems to be to make this brush feel as familiar as possible.

However, research shows that it can be incredibly difficult to persuade consumers to change their behavior or switch brands, particularly when it comes to products they use every day.

Still, it’s a promising step toward a world in which cleaning our teeth doesn’t dirty the planet.

Reference- Colgate Online Newsroom, Fast Company, Harvard Business Review

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