Sometimes little things can make a big difference. Consider the humble tube of toothpaste: Americans throw out more than a billion of them a year. And since most are made of sheets of plastic and aluminum, they can be difficult to recycle. Tom’s of Maine’s new recyclable tube is the first to use several grades of high-­density ­polyethylene—the same stuff used to make recyclable plastic bottles. Parent company Colgate-­Palmolive plans to incorporate the design more widely among its brands and will share its approach with other manufacturers, in hopes that recyclable tubes become an industry standard.—Simmone Shah

Buy now: Tom’s of Maine Recyclable Tube

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