Stop! Is that shave as good for you as it is for the planet? A recent report from the United Nations says that “plastic accounts for 85 percent of marine litter.” Besides news videos of massive piles of waste washing up on what should be pristine shores in Southeast Asia, there are also stories about micro-plastics making their way into all the corners of the seas, into fish, and, therefore, onto our dinner tables. Eliminating this problem is one of the toughest challenges we face as a species. Look around at almost any moment and see how much plastic has invaded our lives, perhaps nowhere more so than in our bathrooms. That’s why we’ve made no secret that we don’t love plastic disposable razors.
My somewhat hardline tree-hugging philosophies aside, I’d be lying if I said sometimes a recyclable container may end up in the trash if it’s inconvenient. However, we also recognize that sometimes — particularly at the gym or for travel — they make more sense than old-fashioned safety razors or straight razors (and just try getting one of those through TSA). In fact, Schick used this as a teachable moment, pointing out that the disposable razor we’ve decried has 100% recycled packaging, is available to be recycled for free via its mail-in program EdgewellRecycles.com, and does come in an earth-friendlier version.
Even the more common cartridge razors come with their own garbage issues: Although their handles can last a long, long time, those disposable cartridges can’t effectively be recycled, and so also end up in the garbage stream. Like all of us, shaving companies are trying to do what they can to make the whole experience more planet-friendly, while making sure that we can all still get a fresh, clean shave. Here are a few solutions that we hope you’ll try.
AkHippy Chic Eco-Friendly Twin Blade Wheat Straw Razor
This Alaska-based company uses a reasonably sharp blade made from Swedish stainless steel, offering a fixed head shave that is mounted to a hard wheat straw handle. It’s mostly made from sustainable materials, although we haven’t been able to confirm that the handle itself will break down in your (or your city’s) composter. Best of all, though, if you buy from Etsy, it offsets carbon emissions from shipping and packaging.
Schick Xtreme 3 Eco Glide
As we said, Schick (and its parent company Edgewell) is doing its best to shift shaving in a better direction for the planet. Its Xtreme 3 Eco Glide is the same razor as the original Schick Xtreme 3, offering the same flexible blade technology and is the first and only disposable razor made from recycled plastic that’s also fully recyclable (don’t get us started on downcycling); and just like all Schick packaging is made with 100% recycled plastic.
Shavegreen Bioshave Disposable Razors
Although it doesn’t get into the specifics, Shavegreen claims its four-pack of disposables is made from biodegradable plant-based materials with stainless steel blades. Hey, we figure it’s worth a try: just don’t try to till those blades into your backyard garden.
Gillette Planet Kind Razor
Gillette’s Planet Kind collection has been a favorite of ours for a while now. The brand maintains a commitment to using earth-friendly packaging and ingredients, including this durable yet recyclable handle and blades. The program does involve mailing or taking the material to a Terracycle location.
Preserve Shave Five Blade Refillable Razor
The Preserve razor is available in a wide range of colors, so if you’re sharing a bathroom you can be sure that your razor stands out. The ergonomic handle is made from recycled materials and features five ceramic-coated blades with aloe strips just like traditional disposable cartridges. Although the blades are not recyclable, the handle can be mailed in. The packaging is made from PET and #5 recyclable plastic and makes a great travel case.
Bulldog Original Glass Razor
We won’t judge you if you start singing 99 Bottles of Beer On the Wall while using Bulldog’s newest razor (well, can you stay on key?). The company has an ongoing commitment to being more sustainable in its packaging and materials, and this latest addition to the collection is a durable razor handle made from recycled beer bottles. The handle itself is also recyclable and comes with four Bulldog Original Steel Blade 5-blade refills. The razor accepts both the brand’s Original and Sensitive Steel Blades: It’s available in green (ships with original blades) or blue (with sensitive blades).
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