Are Safety Razors Better Than Disposable Razors?

eco-friendly SAFETY RAZOR savetheplanet sustainable VINTAGE zero-waste



Let’s talk about shaving?

Yes, shaving! There it is something we all need to deal with.

Nowadays some people prefer to do not shave and it is ok since each person needs to feel comfortable with their own body. Still the majority enjoy the feeling of a smooth skin without any hair. 


Where Did Shaving Originate?   

 Despite our common view of our Stone Age ancestors having big, full, poorly maintained beards, they actually are the ones who started out our shaving journey. It is believed that Stone Age men started shaving 100,000 years ago by using clam shells like tweezers and pulling out their beard hair.

About 60,000 years ago, man discovered shaving, and started using sharpened obsidian and clam shells to shave their beards.

Also, beards among Romans was revived by Emperor Hadrian around 100 A.D., and facial hair has been going in and out of fashion ever since.


Modern Times

Modern style shaving didn’t really make truly significant headway until the 1700s and 1800s. In the late 1700s, Frenchman Jean-Jacques Perret invented the world’s first safety razor (in a sense) by attaching a wood guard to a straight shaving razor. This allowed men to shave at home, when before everyone had to go to a barber whenever they wanted to get rid of their whiskers.

In 1828, the modern concept of the safety razor came into the market in Sheffield, England. In 1895 a travelling salesman called King Camp Gillette, came up with the idea of a disposable safety razor, and in the early 1900s with the help of William Nickerson, developed the double-edged shaving razor. This obviously made the whole shaving process much easier and saved people from having to sharpen their razor every few uses.


Disposable Razors


Disposable razors are for limited use. In general, they can last three to ten shaves, but the best indicator it’s time to replace a disposable razor is when the blades become dull. When you’re ready for a new razor blade, you throw away the entire razor and grab a new one.

While most disposable razors are made of plastic, you typically can’t recycle them as they are, Darby Hoover, senior resource specialist of food and agriculture at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told.

She pointed out that disposable razors are usually made of several different materials, which make them a challenge to recycle properly: There’s the handle, which often contains both plastic and some sort of rubber for grip, and the head or cartridge, which includes the metal blades embedded in a plastic frame. (Aside from the recycling challenge, the sharp blades also pose a safety risk to waste workers if they’re not disposed of properly, which is another thing to keep in mind.)

About shaving quality: just because it’s quick and safe doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll give you the nice baby-bottom smoothness that you’re looking for. Present razor technology has sufficiently improved on the basic design so that disposables now come in blade cartridges-which essentially contain blades-in the belief that the more blades a razor has, the better shave it can provide you.

 Plus, humans produce lots of waste from simple day to day activities and our shaving routines are no exception.

In fact, the EPA estimated that in the 1990’s we threw away about two billion disposable razors. That number has since risen to over 2 billion razors ending up in landfill each year. That’s about one million pounds of plastic waste.

It seems that multi-blade cartridge razors are the most wasteful products that we use in our bathrooms.


Reusable Razors 

Unlike disposable razors, safety razors are built to last a lifetime.

Safety razor collectors purchase and use old Gillette safety razors from the early 1900s, and some even claim to be using the same razor for over 110 years.

Not all safety razors are indestructible, but they’re still a major improvement over disposable razors. When considering longevity, we recommend choosing a pure stainless steel safety razor.


 Since the razor itself lasts so long, only the razor blades need to be recycled. Instead of cartridges, safety razors use inexpensive, stainless steel blades. After 5-7 shaves, you can safely store and dispose of your blades using a metal blade safe.

Safety razors are typically made out of steel or a chromed zinc alloy.

When the razor does reach the end of its useful life, there are plenty of ways to properly dispose of the body of the razor.


How To Dispose Of Razor Blades


The main razor blades that can be recycled are those used with double edge (DE) safety razors. We’ll primarily look at how to dispose of and recycle DE razor blades, but first we want to tackle how to dispose of the other varieties of razors and blades.

Not all razor blades can be recycled due to the way that they are fixed into the razor. Let’s start by considering which blades from which razors can be recycled.

Disposable razors are designed to be thrown away; handle, blade and all. The blade is attached to the razor handle and can’t be removed so the whole thing has to go into the bin.

When throwing away a disposable razor, wrap the blade end in newspaper or paper, secure with a piece of tape and then throw into the normal bin. This prevents the blades from doing any harm.


Cartridge razors are available where the head, which includes the blades, can be replaced. The blades don’t come out of the razor head, however, so the entire head needs to be thrown away.

To dispose of cartridge razor heads, wrap the head in newspaper or waste paper, secure with tape and then throw into the normal bin. Again, this prevents the blades from posing a hazard.

 Safety razors have a sharp blade so it is important to pay attention when collecting them.

When you remove the blade from your safety razor, it’s important that you immediately put it somewhere safe where you can’t encounter it accidently or where children could find it. Collecting the blades also means that you can dispose of them all in one go, rather than one at a time.

Many safety razor blades come in packaging that has an extra part designed to collect the used blades. This is usually a slotted component in the packaging. It has a compartment on the back of the case designed to store used blades.


 Once filled your razor blade packaging compartment, you can simply throw it away in your normal rubbish once it’s full. The compartment in the container will keep the blades from posing a hazard to people or animals.



Because safety razor blades are made entirely of metal, they can be recycled. You’ll need to check with your local authority on what can be recycled in your area, but most places will make it easy to recycle your safety razor blades.

Once you’ve collected them up, you can take them to your local recycling center and put them into the scrap metal container. You’ll be able to find your nearest recycling center by visiting your local authority website.


The most effective and efficient way to do this is to invest in a recyclable disposal tin. Collect up all your blades in the tin and then the whole thing can be recycled in one go. It’s safe and practical. You might even be able to put this straight into your plastics and metals wheelie bin, depending on your local recycling authority. In this case do not forget to label as “sharp” with a permanent marker.






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