Can Safety Razor Blades Be Recycled?
Whether you decided to make the switch to safety razors to reduce your waste and protect our environment or you switched becausesafety razors are cheaper, you’re probably wondering how to dispose of safety razor blades and if safety razor blades are recyclable.
The problem is that in order to recycle safety razor blades in the UK or in the US you have to visit your friendly local neighbourhood recycling center and every recycling center has different capabilities, different processes and different rules.
Recycling safety razor blades should be as easy as 1, 2, 3, but sadly it’s not! Disposing of safety razor blades safely and sustainably can be a pain. So, in this article we’re going to run through some tips and tricks to make recycling double edge razor blades simple and easy (wherever you’re located)!
Recycle your safety razor blades in bulk
Recycling metal razor blades is normally not a simple process, so to make things easier, we recommend storing your used blades in a safety razor blade bank until you have enough to warrant a trip to the recycling center.
Invest in a small jar or a piggybank to put used razor blades in. When you’re finished using your razor blades, wipe them clean to ensure that there is no residue remaining on the blade and place them in your jar.
Once the jar is full, it’s time to start recycling your safety razor blades!
Are safety razor blades made from a recyclable material?
Most recycling centers around the world have information on their websites which indicate whether or not they can recycle certain materials. Although many safety razor blades are made from stainless steel, they are often coated in other materials that make them more complicated to recycle. This is also true for recycling cartridge razor blades.
Here is a breakdown of the different types of safety razor blades that are available on the market today:
PTFE coated blades- The vast majority of safety razor blades are coated in a substance known as PTFE. You probably haven’t heard of PTFE, but you might know the brand Teflon which uses PTFE on all of it’s pots and pans!
PTFE’s job is to reduce corrosion and friction and sadly it’s a necessary evil in the production of razor blades! Without PTFE, your razor blades would be much more likely to cut and nick your skin whilst shaving.
How can I dispose of double edge razor blades coated in PTFE?
Safety razor blade disposal normally involves several different steps. If your razor blade packaging states that the blades have a lining of PTFE, consult your local recycling center and ask if they can recycle Teflon. The coating will have to be burned off in order to recycle them.
If your local recycling center does not have the capacity to recycle Teflon, keep reading, we’ve got you covered!
Platinum coated blades- Platinum coated razor blades are also fairly common. Some manufacturers use platinum in conjunction with PTFE, but we found a few razor blade manufacturers that state their blades are only coated with platinum.
According to theRoyal Mint, platinum is a non-ferrous metal, meaning that it can be recycled an infinite number of times without losing its properties.
How can I recycle double edge razor blades coated with platinum?
If your blades are platinum-coated and do not contain PTFE, go ahead and wash them clean, and dump them in any metal recycling bin! Easy!
If they’re platinum coated, but contain PTFE, keep reading and we’ll provide some alternative guidelines!
Polymer coated blades- If your razor blade packaging states that the blades have “polymer coated edges” or something similar to this, then this essentially means that your blades are coated in PTFE.
Don’t feel too guilty about it! The coating of polymer is actually thinner than the width of a human hair andsimilar coatings are used on soda cans and many other consumer products.
Recycling is actually incredibly efficient and although burning these polymers off creates a small amount of Co2, the energy created from burning them is typically used to fuel the recycling process, so the environmental damage is minimal. Certainly much less than if you were using a plastic disposable razor!
How to recycle safety razor blades coated in polymers?
Contact your local recycling center and ask if they can recycle Teflon. If they can, then you can recycle your blades locally. If they can’t, then read on and we’ll provide a simple way to recycle your safety razor blades with Jungle Culture!
How to recycle safety razor blades in the UK (Step-by-Step)
If you live in the UK, here are step-by-step instructions for recycling reusable razor blades and recycling cartridge razor blades:
- Check what material your blades are made from and consult thiswebsite to see if your blades are recyclable at local facilities. (Nearly all metals are recyclable)
- If your razor blades are recyclable at your local centre, you can search for a recycling bin or facilityhere. If your blades are made from multiple metals, don’t worry. Metals are easily and efficiently separated andcan still be recycled hundreds of times.
- If your blades contain PTFE or polymers and your local recycling centre does not recycle Teflon, you can send your blades to Terracycle free of charge and they will recycle them for you.
If you’ve never heard of Terracycle, they specialise in recycling objects that are difficult to recycle. Their free to post envelopes are sponsored by large companies which enables you to recycle your razor blades, pens and more, absolutely free. To do so, visit their websitehere.
How to recycle safety razor blades in the US (Step-by-Step)
If you live in the US, then recycling is a little bit more complicated as different states have different systems. The EPA has produced guidance for all US recyclershere, but even still, it’s slightly more complicated! That being said, here are step-by-step instructions for recycling double edge razor blades in the US.
- Understand what material your blades are made from. If it’s unclear, then you can check for a universal recycling sign using thisguide.
- Ensure that your blades are not contaminated with any type of liquid or chemicals. All US recycling centers require your objects to be clean and free of contaminants.
- Check the website of your local recycling center to see if they recycle razor blades.
- If they do, then great! Take them there and your job is done!
- If they do not, then visitTerracycle’s website, type in “razor blades” and your ZIP code and follow the instructions provided. Terracycle will allow you to recycle your razor blades absolutely free of charge!
How to dispose of my other shaving products
At Jungle Culture oureco-friendly women’s razors,reusable bamboo razors & othereco razors are all made to last a lifetime, so it should be a long time before you consider recycling them!
However, if for any reason you do need to recycle your Jungle Culture safety razor or any safety razor from any other brand, you can send them to Terracycle free of charge and they will recycle them for you. They will also recycle any plastic disposable razors or metal disposable razors that you may have laying around.
The service is free of charge, so please use it instead of throwing them away where they’ll add to the billions of razors that enter our oceans every year.
Recycling shaving foam cans
As of October 2021, Terracycle do not offer a recycling solution for shaving foam or gel cans and asshaving without shaving foam is not an option, we strongly advise shavers and groomers to switch toorganic shaving soap bars. Our shaving soap bars last up to 2 years (depending on how hairy you are) and are completely natural and organic!
Not only do shaving soap bars help to save the environment, because of their longevity, they save you money too!
Recycling used safety razor blades does not need to be difficult or painful. Follow the step-by-step instructions above and your razor blades will be recycled again and again!
If you reside in a country other than the UK or the US, thencontact us here and we’ll assist you in recycling your razor blades!