UK’s landfills ‘squeezed by 300m toothpaste tubes every year’

A new report suggests the aluminium lined found in many tubes makes them ‘a recycling nightmare’

Big Zero Report 2022

Every year, 300 million toothpaste tubes end up in the UK’s landfills.

A new report by the waste management firm BusinessWaste estimates if these tubes were laid out end-to-end, the plastic line would stretch 75,000 kilometres, the equivalent of almost twice around the world.

The analysis suggests a toothpaste tube needs almost 500 years to fully biodegrade in a landfill.

It notes some of the best plastic-free tube alternatives are refillable glass jars, toothpaste tablets or homemade toothpaste.

BusinessWaste spokesman Mark Hall said: “A lot of toothpaste tubes have that layer of aluminium in to keep them fresh, but this makes it a recycling nightmare.

“Toothpaste is an essential hygiene item that people will always buy. However, the problem is the packaging; does it really need to come in a plastic tube?”

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