Most razors are disposable; they are designed to be used a few times and then thrown away. From a consumer’s point of view, they’re pretty convenient and can be bought fairly cheaply. From an environmental point of view, they’re a bloody nightmare. There is an eco-friendly shaving alternative however.
According to figures on the internet, around 2 billion razors are disposed of every year. That is a lot of single-use plastic! Even if you try to be conscientious and put your razors into your recycling, there’s a high chance they won’t be recycled anyway. Most razor handles are made from a mix of materials which make them difficult to recycle.
Having said that, there is a partnership between TerraCycle and Gilette to recycle razors, and you can sign up here. I like that this scheme exists, but much like with the contact lenses one, there doesn’t seem to be much awareness of it. I hope it has a positive impact, but I don’t think it will make much of a difference sadly.
Plastic-Free and Eco-Friendly Shaving
Eco-friendly shaving is easier than you think, and not as expensive as it first seems.
I bought a Wilkinson Sword Safety Razor, which came with five blades. It cost £10. It’s 100% stainless steel, not a bit of plastic in sight. It’s fairly weighty and feels quite grown up. Another plus point for no plastic. If I didn’t have children, I would leave it out on the side because it’s not hideous. I do though, and so it’s safely hidden at the back of the bathroom cupboard!
Now I don’t know about you, but over the years I’ve certainly spent more than £10 a time on plastic pink crap aimed at women. Even the same brand is currently selling their latest pink razor (because how will women know how to use it if it isn’t pink?) with three blades for over £13. It’s been said many times, but women are constantly being charged more for this sexist rubbish, but that’s a blog post for another day.
Back to my point, a safety razor will only cost you a tenner. I’m sure that someone will see an opportunity here and release a rose gold version for girls or something, but this basic razor is just fine! There are plenty of other safety razors out there, but this is the most cost-effective one that I’ve seen. I have been contacted by a couple of brands to promote their sustainable razors, but I said no because they were over £50 each. For me, that isn’t affordable, and I’d feel uncomfortable pretending otherwise.
Is It Easy To Use A Safety Razor?
Before I bought my safety razor, I did worry that eco-friendly shaving was going to come with some cuts and grazes! I’ve only got to nick myself ever so slightly and I bleed for hours. However, from the first time I used it, my fears were put to rest. It’s incredibly easy to use and I didn’t cut myself at all.
Here’s a funny story for you though, the first time I cut myself shaving I was three. I was at my aunt and uncle’s house, at their wedding reception in fact, and was being silly with my cousin in the bathroom. My cousin was messing with the razor and, because my Dad has a beard, I didn’t know what it was. I copied him and cut myself just above my lip. I only realised when I walked back into the living room with blood dripping down my bridesmaid dress. Thankfully there was no real harm done and it healed quickly. So yeah, keep those razors away from the kids!
Go Completely Plastic-Free
Now you’ve got your plastic-free razor, don’t forget about what you’re using to help it glide. Lots of shaving gels or foams come in plastic packaging. I switched, a long time ago, to a shaving bar instead. It looks like a bar of soap and lathers up quickly. It also lasts a very long time; I’ve just finished one that I bought 7 months ago! The one I use is made by Friendly Soaps and they’re available in zero waste shops as well as online.
So there you have it, you can enjoy eco-friendly shaving and even save money too!