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Dual-pump pack minimizes waste

Introduced in Mexico last September, Colgate's dual-pumping toothpaste dispenser is unique for several reasons, says Bob Mack, associate director of technology at Colgate Palmolive's Global Packaging Group.

The 115-mL (3.8-oz) package consists of two pastes baking soda and hydrogen peroxide each housed in separate chambers. As the consumer presses down on the top of the package the pastes are forced out through a common nozzle causing them to mix and react in the mouth during brushing.

What's unique is that the refillable package contains a translucent dual-barrel "cartridge" that incorporates pistons that "push out every last drop of paste from the chambers" says Mack. This virtually eliminates product waste a common problem with toothpaste refill packs he adds. Plus the only item that's discarded is the empty cartridge. According to Mack it results in a lot less plastic going into the waste stream compared to other dual-pump toothpaste dispensers. The consumer retains the outer shell which consists of a separate polypropylene base and PP top the latter containing the mixing nozzle.

Molded of DuPont's Selar PT polyethylene terephthalate resin the internal cartridge has critical barrier properties too. "DuPont worked very closely with us to develop this particular grade of Selar PT" says Mack. "It provides a much better barrier for keeping the paste fresh" compared to polyolefin containers which can "diminish or even change the flavor" by absorbing flavor oils from the product he says.

The complete package retails for 20 pesos ($2.56) and the refill cartridge sells for 14 pesos ($1.79). Currently available only in Mexico the product is "exceeding forecasts" says Mack who hints at the possibility that other Colgate subsidiaries worldwide may consider this design.

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