As global packaging sustainability manager at Colgate-Palmolive Co., Anne Bedarf knows improving the environmental footprint for plastics requires more than just one solution.
Just as there are a variety of designs for caps, closures and packaging, there needs to be a variety of approaches to change, reduce or eliminate the use of plastics, she said during a presentation at the recent Plastic Caps & Closures 2021 conference.
Colgate-Palmolive is a consumer products giant with reach into 62 percent of all global households, operations in 75 countries and sales in more than 200 countries and territories.
The company is well known for its oral care products including toothpaste, but it also has well-known brands in the personal care, home care and pet nutrition markets. They include Mennen, Softsoap, Irish Spring, Ajax and Hill's Science Diet.
Colgate, No. 1 in market share for toothpaste around the world, in recent years developed a recyclable tube that eliminated a previously used aluminum layer. Despite developing the new packaging, Colgate opened access to design details so others also could create their own recyclable packaging.
This is part of the company's approach to encourage addressing the issues from a variety of angles.
"I think there's so much momentum through company commitments, governments and just people wanting better systems, less plastics in the oceans. So I think we're going to see lots of change in these areas because there is no silver bullet. Right? We need a diversity of solutions," she said.