Humans generate a lot of waste in their daily lives and their shaving routines are no exception. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that we discarded about two billion disposable razors in the 1990s. Since then, the number of razors ending up in landfills has risen to over 2 billion per year. This equates to approximately one million pounds of plastic waste.
According to recent estimates, we may be dumping 2 billion razors into landfills each year, equating to around 454 tonnes of plastic waste. Shaving cream bottles and aerosols aren’t included in this calculation. However, the worst offenders are multi-blade cartridge razors, which are one of the most wasteful products in our bathrooms. Razors that are zero waste, eco-friendly, long-lasting, and reusable are the way to go. They’re also known as reusable safety razors, and while they may appear intimidating at first, they’re quite simple and effective to use once you get the hang of them.
The shaving scenario
In 2019, approximately 5.5 million people in the United Kingdom used disposable razors. In addition, an estimated 5000 billion disposable razor blades are used annually around the world. Yes, every year, a large number of disposable razors and blades end up in landfills. You might believe that the trend is shifting as more people become aware of environmental threats and more eco-friendly alternatives become available. Nonetheless, by 2027, the disposable blade market will reach $4.31 billion, up 3.2 percent from 2019. Our shaving routine does not only endanger the environment with razors.
Plastic razors are known for having a significantly shorter lifespan than safety razors. Plastic razors, in general, contribute to a disposable, throwaway society. According to experts, the average disposable razor cartridge should only be used 6-9 times before being discarded.
This means that every disposable razor purchased will be on its way to the landfill in about 2-3 weeks.
Choose a double-edged razor with a closed comb head
They offer a smoother shave and reduce the possibility of cuts (single edge razors and double edge razors with open comb heads are more aggressive but help with thicker hair). Clean your razor after every use. Rinse the blade with a bit of hot water. If you’re using a refill, keep your blade in the open position. Here you can learn more about best eco-friendly razors in the UK, including but not limited to the biodegradable razors, double edged razors and many more options.
The best material for your money
Stainless steel is typically used in the manufacture of high-end safety razors. They provide a smoother shave and reduce the possibility of cuts (single edge razors and double edge razors with open comb heads are more aggressive but help with thicker hair). There are also more affordable options made of bamboo or less expensive metal with a protective chrome-plated layer.
Alternatives to a safety razors
Disposable razors are not the only option. Sugar waxing and laser hair removal are more long-term solutions for hair growth if you’re open to other hair removal options. If you prefer to use a razor, try switching from a disposable to a safety razor to reduce your single-use plastic waste.
With billions of disposable razors littering our planet, it’s critical to find a low-waste, long-lasting alternative that reduces the amount of plastic discarded in your home. We’ll look at five alternatives to disposable razors in this article.
Users have reported getting a cleaner shave for a lower price and less waste using safety razors, which have become increasingly popular. The only waste generated is the blades, which must be replaced once a week and once a month. The speed with which blades are consumed is determined by how well they are cared for while in the razor and how frequently they are used.
The blades will last much longer for those who do not shave frequently, but only if kept dry. These razors should not be kept in the shower when not in use because the blades must be replaced before they rust. A blade’s lifespan can be extended by thoroughly drying it after use to ensure that no water remains on the metal.
A safety razor (much like a disposable razor) is also likely the most affordable option on this list. The advantage of shaving with a safety razor is that you get a clean shave for a low price. Safety razors are ideal for sensitive skin prone to razor burn, as they can help reduce the bumps that can occur when using a disposable razor.
Reusable Razor Heads
Many people prefer to buy a disposable razor with interchangeable heads instead of a safety razor. This means you keep the razor’s base and keep buying new heads, which should be replaced every one to two months, depending on how frequently you shave. This reduces the amount of plastic discarded, but it does not eliminate it.
Unlike a safety razor, this can result in plastic bits being thrown into landfills; however, this is a much smaller amount than with a fully reusable razor.
The best part about these razors is that they resemble traditional disposable razors only with a different handle. As a result, switching from your old disposable razor to these reusable razor heads is simple. Because they’re often made by the same companies that make disposable razors, they’ll give you the same kind of shave.
Swapping out new heads and detaching the razor head from the base whenever you need to store them separately is a breeze. Because they are built in the same way as a typical disposable razor without detachable blades. They are easy to travel with and will not cause you any problems with airport security.
Electric razors have long been popular among men, and part of the reason is that if you don’t have thick skin, electric razors can irritate. While these battery or power-powered razors are more expensive upfront, they can still be an excellent alternative to traditional disposable razors.
One of the most appealing aspects of using an electric razor is how little maintenance it necessitates. Although blades must be replaced every now and then, they last a long time and are therefore a low-waste and low-maintenance option. They’re not difficult to use and should make the transition from safety or disposable razors much easier.
Waxing and Sugar Waxing
Waxing or sugaring is a great alternative to shaving. Of course, this is highly dependent on the body part being worked on! On the other hand, Waxing has become increasingly popular among both men and women as a more long-term solution to hair growth that can encourage hair growth to stop or slow significantly over time.
Waxing is the process of applying wax to the skin and then removing it with a strip. Sugaring is usually done with a sticky, sugary mixture that doesn’t need to be ripped into strips. The sugar wax is applied to the skin with the hands, and the practitioner continues to rip the hair out with the same piece of sugar wax.
Sugar wax has a gentler nature than other waxes, so you won’t experience any skin loss or pain after using it. On the other hand, Sugaring is much better for the skin because the wax only sticks to the hair. It is common for people to buy at-home wax kits and do their Waxing depending on the part of the body being waxed.
This can be a less expensive and time-consuming alternative to getting a wax at a salon. Unfortunately, waxing some body parts at home is complex, and it is strongly advised to see a professional avoid any discomfort.
Laser hair removal is a great but expensive option for those looking for a permanent hair removal solution. Laser hair removal ensures that the hair in the treated area will not grow back and will not need to be shaved in the future. Laser hair removal is performed in salons by trained professionals and requires several treatments to achieve the best results.
Those who choose lasers will need to have treatments for about six months, as it is necessary to allow the hair to regrow in between treatments to continue zapping the follicle and preventing future growth. Look for zero-waste stores in your area where you can refill any containers you already have to upcycle at home.
How To Become Eco-Friendly Shaver?
It’s easy to make the switch to eco-friendly shaving, and here are some tips for becoming a no-waste shave.
1. Buy Less
Are you ready to go all out? For your first multi-blade cartridge razor, just make one change – stop using disposable razors. Instead, use a razor, ball head, and cartridge refill. You’ll never buy cartridges again and you’ll be saving the planet at the same time.
2. Buy Multi-Blade Safety Razors
Unless you have a weak stubble, a two-blade razor is probably the worst option for you. You might only need one blade, but they cost more and take longer to replace, as the blades require replacement every week. Instead, buy a safety razor with at least three blades, which can last you a couple of months.
3. Switch From Single Blade Razors
If you’re comfortable using a single blade razor, try a two-blade safety razor. This is one of the easiest ways to make a big change and a much more affordable option, especially if you’re trying to save money. One common brand of two-blade safety razors is Schick, which make a razor that lasts a year. Alternatively, a twin-blade razor may be a better option for you. These come with a safety tip to prevent cutting yourself. Most people are likely to get better results with a twin-blade safety razor, which have two blades, since it makes them easier to use.
4. Buy Razor Refill
Not all razors are eco-friendly. Some come with disposable cartridges that you’ll only have to replace every month or two. This isn’t ideal, and you might just end up throwing these in the garbage. Reusable razor refills are a much better alternative. You can buy refill cartridges that fit most razor brands. Most make them in varying sizes and even different colour cartridges so you can match your existing razor perfectly.
5. Use Razor Tweezers
The exact method of using razor tweezers depends on your razor. Most have a plastic grip that holds the razor blade in place, and if you have a double-blade razor you can just tweeze the left-hand side, or the bottom. If you have a single-blade safety razor, you’ll have to tweeze the right-hand side. As a general rule, only tweeze in one direction. You can cut yourself if you turn the blade the wrong way or both sides.
6. Use Razors That Last
Avoid buying cheap razors that you’ll probably replace in a month or two. Look for a razor that can last for a year or more. A good value choice would be an NRI razors, or Natural edged razors. Look for one that has a waterproof seal, which will allow you to remove the blade easily if the blade gets damaged.