Colgate-Palmolive Commits to 100% Recyclable Packaging

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Colgate-Palmolive recently committed to making 100 percent of its packaging fully recyclable for three out of four product categories by 2020. The three categories set to go recyclable are home, pet and personal care. Colgate has also committed to developing a completely recyclable toothpaste tube or package. In addition, the company agreed to increase the average recycled content of its packaging from 40 percent to 50 percent, and reduce or eliminate the use of PVC — a hard-torecycle resin — in packaging.

As You Sow (AYS) filed a shareholder resolution with Colgate in 2012, asking the company to explore the feasibility of adopting an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) strategy for post-consumer packaging. An EPR is a corporate and public policy that shifts responsibility for collecting and recycling from consumers and governments to producers. Canada and several European countries require companies to be responsible for post-consumer packaging by paying some or all of the costs for collection and recycling. In the U.S, 24 states have EPR laws on the books that mandate producer responsibility for collecting and recycling consumer electronics.

Academics have uncovered a key influence in the consumer’s decision to go green, whether it’s recycling, composting or buying environmentally friendly products. Research from Concordia University’s John Molson School of business, proves that even just asking ourselves, or predicting, whether we will engage in sustainable shopping behavior can increase the likelihood of following through — especially when there’s an audience.

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