By:
28-09-2015

What Does The Coloured Block At The End Of A Toothpaste Tube Really Mean?

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There has been some excitement on the Internet about a 'secret code' of colour tabs at the bottom of tubes of toothpaste, of late. The story runs along these lines:
“They” (and it is never made entirely clear who 'they' are) have a secret code that helps other who are in the know, choose toothpastes that are made entirely from healthful products. Every tube of toothpaste has a small block on colour at the base of the tube, near the seal or fold. What Does the Coloured Block at the End of a Toothpaste Tube Really Mean Depending on the colour of this small block, you can ascertain the ingredients of the product, choosing the one that best suits your needs. Red blocks are said to be 'natural ingredients with some chemicals', while blue is 'natural ingredients plus some medicines'. Black is 'all chemicals', and therefore presumably 'bad' while green is 'all natural' and therefore the most desirable of the four products. In no incarnation of this myth does anyone try to explain who came up with this system of marking the tubes, nor do they explain why anyone would need to implement such a system.
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The truth of the matter is that the marks are known as 'eye marks', 'colour marks' or 'printers' marks'. One school of thought, and this seems to be the most likely to be true, says that the marks are used as indicators to the high-speed light beam sensors, showing the machines where the tube should be cut and sealed or folded. The machinery senses the colour change and activates the sealing and cutting or folding mechanism, all at speeds almost too fast for the human eye to comprehend. Another school of thought is that the marks are placed onto the tubes to line up the various colours on the tube. For example, when printing tubes, one colour is paid down first, then the next and then usually the last (more than three or four colours would make the cost of printing the tubes very expensive indeed). The marks are used to line up the three or four print runs so that the logos and images are lined up properly.
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