​Recyclable Toothpaste Tube Brings Style to Hygiene

Premium toothpaste manufacturer Twice’s signature product, called The Duo, uses the packaging itself to explicitly illustrate the importance of brushing teeth twice daily.

The Twice toothpaste offering consists of two tubes, on for the a.m., the other for the p.m.
The Twice toothpaste offering consists of two tubes, on for the a.m., the other for the p.m.

“The inspiration forTwice occurred about four years ago,” says co-founder and CEO Julian Levine. “We were on a charitable dental mission—my brother, myself, and our third co-founder, musician Lenny Kravitz—for the GLO Good Foundation, which my folks started to bring dentists to underdeveloped communities. We were in the Bahamas on island called Eleuthera, which is where Lenny lives part-time. We wanted to give back to his community because they have no access to care. That’s where Twice was born as an effort to get people not only to brush, but to do so twice a day.”

The Twice toothpaste offering consists of two tubes: a minty Early Bird formula to rev up in the morning, and Twilight, a formula infused with vanilla-lavender to relax before bed.

When researching package formats, the co-founders discovered, at least back here in the U.S., a pain point in oral care and toothpaste was these products were almost shame items, meant to be hidden or put away when consumers had friends or people over to their places. It seemed like toothpaste was a product that didn't fit with the other household products in the bathroom, like hand soap or fragrance, that are left out for all to see.

“In testing, people were envisioning these big tubes that were scrunched up to the end. They might have dropped the screw-on cap a month ago, and it's behind the toilet bowl and they haven't even picked it up. It's just not really an exciting or beautiful experience,” Levine says.

“We wanted to create a product that people could be proud of, that looked good, that people wanted to leave out on their bathroom counter, almost as if to say, ‘I prioritize my oral care.’”

The recyclable toothpaste tube
The 0.018-in thick extrusion molded, polyethylene tubes are 100% recyclable, using multilayer PE inside and out, with 0.001-in layer of EVOH to keep the product fresh. The tubes are direct print via silk screen, and a matte varnish is applied. A film seal is applied, for consumer safety, under the polypropylene cap and closure.

“In terms of the materials, from the perspective of where this brand was created, to be a company that represents the beauty of a smile and to help an island community, we wanted to try to do this as sustainably and responsibly as possible,” Levine says. “We tried, but we couldn’t find anything made from 100% recycled material because toothpaste packs have to undergo validation, heat testing, weather testing, etc. so that the primary package doesn't erode or decay or harbor bacteria. But we were able to source a 100% recyclable version.”

The product is available in dental offices and at retailer MALIN+GOETZ, but the two-pack (morning and evening) toothpaste tubes are generally sold via e-commerce in corrigated shippers.The shipper that houses the toothpaste has a custom corrugated insert, shaped like a chevron, or as the company says, a taco holder. It enables to toothpaste to stay in place during transit and deliver neatly with good presentation.

More in Sustainability