Gillette Will Recycle and Repurpose Your Old Razors

You can send your old razors to Gillette to be recycled and re-purposed into usable items.

Apr 8, 2019

(Zai Di / Shutterstock.com)

Disposable razors are easy and inexpensive to use. Over 2 billion are used every year in the US. That’s why Gillette, the industry leader who has made razors for over 100 years, wants to make the disposable razor industry much more environmentally friendly.

How many disposable razors do you use in a year? The answer may surprise you. Experts recommend changing blades around every 5 -10 shaves so if you shave every day, that could be as much as 52 disposable or refillable blades a year.

Most cities in the US do not accept razors in recycling bins so the products are just thrown away. Gillette wants to change that.

Gillette just introduced a new initiative in the US with TerraCycle, an innovative waste management company that works with hard to recycle waste, to recycle all brands – not just the ones they make – of disposable razors, replaceable blade cartridge units and all the plastic packaging they come in.

Disposable razors haven't been recycled previously because it just didn’t make economic sense to do so. “It really all comes down to economics,” Stephanie Moses, senior account manager of brand partnerships at TerraCycle told Fast Company. “Essentially, when it’s more expensive to recycle materials–so the cost of logistics and processing is more than the value of the material–it’s considered non-recyclable. It just doesn’t make sense from an economic standpoint.”

This innovative program will breakdown the individual components, sterilize them, shred them and repurpose them into usable products like park benches and picnic tables. 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.

“Through this innovative, first of its kind program, disposable razors, replaceable-blade cartridge units and their associated packaging are now nationally recyclable through the Gillette Recycling Program,” said TerraCycle CEO and founder Tom Szaky in a press release. “We are proud to partner with this forward-thinking company to offer consumers a way to divert razor waste from landfills.”

There are three ways that consumers can recycle their disposables razors through the new partnership. If you want to recycle your razors from home, you can sign up on the program page. When you are ready to ship your razors, you just download a shipping label and send it Terracycle.

Or you can bring your disposables to a drop off center that will be located in gyms, colleges, and nonprofit organizations. An interactive map will be published when this service becomes available. The third way is for people who use the Gillette On Demand subscription service can send the used products back free of charge.

"This is an important first step towards sustainable solutions for shaving products and the start of an exciting journey with Gillette and TerraCycle. We are thrilled to bring this option to our consumers in the US and are already working on plans to roll out to more countries very soon,” said Gillette CEO, Gary Coombe in the company press release.

Both Procter & Gamble, which owns Gillette and TerraCycle are also working on a second plan to reduce waste by partnering with a new innovative startup called Loop that works on reusing product packaging that is in the pilot stage. Gillette is planning on testing a reusable travel case instead of plastic packaging.

Switching to traditional safety razors as opposed to plastic disposables will also cut down on waste products. But if you love your Gillette disposables or the Venus line for women, you can still make your choice more environmentally sound by recycling the used razors and blades.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
Norway Now has the Most Efficient Recycling Plant on Earth
Proving that Everything is Recyclable
'Zero-Waste Platform' Loop Ditches Plastic for Reusable Containers

BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.