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The Eco-Friendly Alternative to Toothpaste - Coolpaste
Have you ever heard of Allan Gomes? Gomes is a student from the Federal University of Minas Gerais and has created a sustainable alternative to toothpaste packaging, also known as “Coolpaste”.
Did you ever think that we could eventually pair the increasingly popular eco-friendly toothbrush with eco-friendly toothpaste? I certainly didn’t. In fact, I didn’t even know that we needed a sustainable alternative to either product.
Why is Regular Toothpaste Bad for the Environment?
The manufacturing process of toothpaste uses various chemicals and plastic which are harmful to human health and the planet. These chemicals are then spit down drains by billions of people all over the world, entering sewers, and eventually released into the oceans. Toothpaste tubes themselves are normally made from sheets of plastic laminate, which is then covered by a thin layer of aluminum. The mix of materials makes it difficult to recycle, similar to the difficulty in recycling clothes. Therefore, toothpaste packaging often ends up in either landfills or the ocean.
How Does Coolpaste Solve this Problem?
Gerais created a packaging tube that helps the environment in many ways. The initial aim was to form a sustainable packaging design for toothpaste that “didn’t affect their durability while being transported or stacked on shelves”.
His innovative manufacturing process not only takes away the need for plastic, but also uses no harmful chemicals. Plus, the biodegradable product does not use a cardboard packaging box, thereby reducing its weight and making transportation much easier.
Overall, Coolpaste is designed to make the product’s shelf life longer and consistent, along with eliminating the negative environmental impact of toothpaste. A unique feature that Gerais included in this product is its graphic design, that helps convey the important message and value of sustainability in Coolpaste.
You might be thinking that this green product costs a fortune, as unfortunately so many eco-alternatives do. But, this is extremely affordable!
Where is the Project Now in 2021?
This academic project was accomplished in 2012 and yet only a few of us might have heard about this. This brings in the real concern. Despite ticking all boxes in favour of the producer, buyer, and environment, eco-friendly toothpaste has yet not been made into a reality.
There are many other projects that go to waste because of a lack of awareness and initiatives taken by people like you and me. At the same time, there are many such innovative ideas that could spring up from young minds if given the right educational awareness and a positive outlet to develop such ideas further.
9 years on from the project, it is obvious that little change has been made in the industry, and it's sad to see the that eco-friendly toothpaste never made it to supermarket shelves today. With the growing popularity of toothpaste powders and tablets, there is clearly demand for a more eco-friendly solution to toothpaste. Lets hope during the next decade we are able to adopt more of these innovative projects, because over the last decade it seemed like way too many good ideas were never followed through.
Where do you think the problem lies? Give it a thought.
It just shows there are so many good ideas out there but not enough investment to support getting them to market :(
Where does the problem lie? I’m not sure but I guess there are too much money that the big dogs won’t let go of.
It’s sad that this product hasn’t reached our bathrooms yet!
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