The question of how bad disposable razors are for the environment is gaining attention as the global campaign against plastic waste intensifies. While there is no talk of banning disposable razors, billions of plastic knives and replacement cartridges are thrown away every year. Municipal recycling programs in the U. S.
won't accept them because they are sharp objects made of mixed materials. For those looking for a greener shave, there are a few options to consider. The Environmental Protection Agency once estimated that 2 billion replacement razors and blades were thrown away in the U. annually, and this figure is still widely cited today.
Gillette has launched a razor recycling program in partnership with Terracycle, which accepts all brands of razors and offers free delivery to 200 locations across the U. Safety razors, which were popularized by older generations, are making a comeback with modern direct-to-consumer brands such as Bevel and Oui Shave. These razors are built to last and the only waste is steel blades, which can be recycled in some municipalities. Leaf Shave also allows customers to return their blades by mail for recycling.
Switching to a cartridge with a reusable handle reduces waste, and many digital brands offer 30-day returns regardless of whether the razor has been used or not. Cartridge heads usually have several razor blades placed in them, usually between two and five blades. For example, the Barbasol Ultra 6 Plus disposable razor has six basic blades and an upper ultra-stripper as the seventh blade for further refinement purposes. The best way to determine when to replace a razor cartridge is if they're not blunted, and they typically last five to 10 shaves. This factor has led to a shift in preferences from traditional cut or straight razors to disposable razors in many regions.