Colgate Keep Reduces Small Plastic Waste to Make a Big Difference

February 2, 2021

3 Min Read
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NEW YORK -- Good brushing habits add up, but not always in a good way.

Over 495 million adult manual toothbrushes were purchased in the U.S. in 2020 and will likely end up in landfill because they cannot be easily recycled. 

Colgate is working its innovative muscle and magic to change that with the launch of Colgate® Keep. The company has made it their mission to take steps towards addressing this global matter by reinventing the manual toothbrush with a reusable handle to contain 80% less plastic*. 

Colgate® Keep is designed with a snap-on replaceable brush head and a reusable aluminum handle to inspire people to make small steps that add up to significant impact. With availability online and at national retailers, Colgate® Keep is making less plastic more accessible for all looking for easy ways to reduce their plastic waste. 

So why should reducing plastic waste be a priority in oral care? Due to their small size, mix of materials, and limitations in municipal recycling capabilities, toothbrushes are not accepted in typical recycling streams. For ten years, through a partnership with TerraCycle, Colgate has recycled more than 5 million toothbrushes and other oral care items, diverting waste from landfills. Colgate® Keep provides an easier solution. 

Colgate knows people don't want to sacrifice efficacy, which is why Keep will come with two bristle variants (Deep Clean with Floss-Tip bristles** and Whitening with spiral polishing bristles), as well as a cheek and tongue cleaner on the back of the brush head to get rid of more bacteria. It features a replaceable head that uses 80% less plastic* than traditional Colgate manual toothbrushes as well as a lightweight 100% aluminum handle that is long-lasting and comes in two colors, navy or silver. The outer cardboard packaging is made with 60% recycled content, all of which is recyclable. 

If every manual toothbrush user in the U.S. switched to Keep, we would save the equivalent of over 400 million toothbrushes from entering landfills in one year alone.††

Colgate knows there is more work to do, especially when it comes to recycling small plastics.  

As part of Colgate's 2025 Sustainability & Social Impact Strategy, the company is focusing on three ambitions: promoting well-being and inclusivity; helping people develop healthy habits; and preserving and improving the environment. Among the company's social and environmental sustainability actions, a key target is to cut the amount of toothbrush plastic waste in half by 2025. Additionally, the company will eliminate one third of new plastics as part of the transition to 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable plastic packaging by 2025.

"The Colgate brand is in more homes than any other, so we can and we will create a healthier, more sustainable future for all. That's why in Colgate's 2025 sustainability goals, we pledge to reduce plastic waste from toothbrushes by 50%. The launch of Keep is just one step towards our goal, with 80% less plastic vs. comparable Colgate toothbrushes. We know we have many more strides to make towards a zero-waste toothbrush future and are proud to be starting here," 

says Dana Medema, Vice President and General Manager at Colgate-Palmolive.

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