Recycling Razors: Is it Possible?

November 10, 2019 4 min read

Recycling Razors: Is it Possible?

Naked Armor

Ever since the invention of the modern plastic razor, the shaving industry has been a willing contributor to the widespread problem of plastic pollution.

Published by Naked Armor

Just last year alone, about 164 million Americans have used disposable plastic razors and blades. By now, they would have disposed this insane amount of plastic into landfills where it’ll stay indefinitely.

Disposable razors are wasteful.

They’re meant to be used only a few times and then discarded as trash. If only it were biodegradable, then it wouldn’t be a problem. But it’s not. And so while people continue buying them because they’re convenient, razor companies will continue making them. Never mind that we’re polluting our entire planet with toxic plastic.

America Recycles Day
Not Easy Recyclable
Recycling Programs
Recycling Safety Razors and Shavette Blades
Zero Waste Shaving with a Straight Razor

America Recycles Day

That’s why it’s great that more and more people are now calling for recycling plastic as one of the means to cut down our wasteful consumption habits. That’s the idea behind November 15’s America Recycles Day (ARD). In the weeks leading to ARD, Americans all over the country participate by taking initiatives to increase and improve recycling in America.

By joining the event, people become informed about how recycling can contribute to our environmental well-being and the economy. And that’s awesome because it will help motivate occasional recyclers to become really passionate about recycling enough to make it their lifestyle.

Here at Naked Armor, we’re very much aware how plastic is a menace to the environment. And seeing how the entire razor industry is driven by a consumer demand for plastic disposables, one would think that recycling disposable razors would help cut down the plastic pollution.

Except that it’s not.

Not Easily Recyclable

Surprisingly, disposable razors are NOT easily recyclable.

That’s because today’s modern disposable razors are no longer made of just plastic. They’re also made of rubber and steel. In order to properly recycle them, one needs to do a bit of prep work so that each component can be segregated.

For example, the metal blade needs to be separated from the rest of the body. But one can’t just pull it out for safety reasons. One has to heat and soften the plastic so that one can strip the razor of its components easily.

Tedious, huh?

That’s why most US cities don’t accept razors in recycling bins. The razors also create a potential risk to sanitation workers who do the sorting manually.

Straight razors are made to last because they’re made of durable stainless steel and fine, high-end wooden handles. They’re basically the most eco-friendly way to shave because you don’t need to replace them ever. The blade remains sharp as long as it is cared for properly with regular stropping and honing.

— Derek Dodds, Naked Armor Founder

Recycling Programs

Fortunately, widespread concern for the negative impact of shaving disposables has prompted razor companies to implement initiatives that make recycling convenient for consumers.

Gillette, for instance, partnered with TerraCycle, which is an innovative waste management company that works with hard-to-recycle waste - recycling all brands of disposable razors, replaceable blade cartridge units, and all the plastic packaging they come in.

The consumer just sends them the used razors and TerraCycle will do the work of breaking down the individual components, sterilizing them before shredding them, and repurposing them into usable products like park benches. Metals will be smelted and converted to new alloys. Since TerraCycle recycles over 97 percent of the waste it collects, this will make a huge difference.

Recycling Safety Razor and Shavette Blades

Safety and shavette razors, meanwhile, are easier to recycle. That’s because all you need to recycle are the blades. But don’t just throw them away because they can injure people or wildlife.

The best way to dispose of used and dull razor blade is to store them in a box, tin, or can until it’s relatively full. Store-bought “blade banks” are a safe option, but if you’re looking to save money you could always get an empty can, place a narrow slit on it and viola, you have your own DIY blade bank.

When it’s full, make sure to seal it tightly with duct tape or something equally sturdy and sticky. This way, the blade edges are contained safely and securely and won’t hurt anyone when you send it to a recycling program like Terracycle’s.

If you’re dropping it off at the local scrap metal center, choose the steel recycling bin. Don’t put it in the regular bin because accidents can happen and the sanitation worker in charge of segregating the recyclables might be at risk from the blades.

Zero Waste Shaving with a Straight Razor

If you want to have zero waste shaving, consider switching to a straight razor.

Straight razors are made to last because they’re made of durable stainless steel and fine, high-end wooden handles. They’re basically the most eco-friendly way to shave because you don’t need to replace them ever. The blade remains sharp as long as it is cared for properly with regular stropping and honing.

Unlike plastic, it has a small carbon footprint. This means that the stainless steel is produced from recycled steel and that production process results in less carbon being emitted in the atmosphere. If by some way you need to replace your straight razor, the steel blade is easily recyclable and the wooden handle is biodegradable. It won’t pollute the environment.

It’s also more cost-efficient. Why buy replacement blades monthly when you can have a blade that lasts forever?

Naked Armor Blades

Here at Naked Armor, our straight razors are a luxurious way to shave without endangering the environment. You don’t need to worry about recycling your blades because when you pick a Naked Armor blade, they are built to last.

It’s also the only straight razor that is designed between a full hollow and half hollow design. This makes the razor uniquely versatile for whatever your shaving needs.

They’re also fine, luxurious items that have the potential to become valuable heirlooms. One can actually consider it a long-term investment.

Intrigued? Check out our site for more straight razors.


Essential Naked Armor Reads

Why Straight Razors Are Earth-Friendly
The Newbie Guide to Straight Razor Shaving
Why Straight Razor Shave Is Better

Read Next

How a Straight Razor Can Solve Common Shaving Problems


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