Eco-Friendly Shaving with Plastic-Free Razor:

A major benefit to wet shaving is that you greatly decrease your environmental impact. Plastic cartridges and disposable razors are impossible to recycle unless you disassemble them first, that means you have to heat up the plastic razor / cartridge and pull out the sharp blades. On top of being more environmentally friendly, safety razors are known to cause less irritation on the skin and are particularly good for those with sensitive skin types. If you have sensitive skin, fewer blades will be more gentle on your skin. More blades just means that there are more razors scraping across the skin, more risk of irritation and more stripping of oils, leaving your skin dry and irritated.

When you start thinking about how often you shave, and then how often everyone else shaves and how much waste this collectively creates, you start to realize that something has to change. Shaving is one of the most wasteful practices we take part in on a day-to-day basis, so by using recyclable safety razor blades, we can dramatically decrease the amount of garbage that makes it to the landfill.

Not everyone realizes the issue at hand, but we humans produce A LOT of waste from our shaving routines / hair removal practices. Think plastic razors, cartridges, plastic tubes from hair removal creams and waxing…

In fact, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimated that in the 1990’s we humans threw away about two billion disposable razors. That number has since risen to over 2 billion razors ending up in landfills Each Year.

So, we at The Classic Blade Company have decided that we should aid to the change. We will have to start an initiative where we aid in the recycling of the razor blades that we sell to our customers. “Corporate responsibility” is on a lot of people’s lips these days. Just look at the intense #takebackyourwaste movement that started with all of the plastic waste on Durban’s Golden Mile.

We are far from a “corporate” company but we have decided to take up the responsibility of recycling the razor blades that we sell.

With the shared efforts from our customers, we can achieve a significant reduction in waste build-up over time. The safety razor is a tried and true zero-waste tool that can be used by anyone. It has proved itself to be essential if an eco-friendly shaving regiment is to be achieved.

Other than the reduced environmental impact, there are a plethora of reasons you should consider switching to a safety razor… including significant savings over time, improved skin quality together with an adjustable razor you can greatly reduce the chances of nicks and cuts.

The Classic Blade Co. Blade Collection Program:

We have done some research and found out that there are currently no municipal recycling programs in South Africa that currently accept used razor blades for recycling. Most metal recyclers also do not accept razor blades for recycling. The main reasons are safety and costs. Used razor blades might not be sharp enough to shave with but they remain a safety hazard for workers at the recycling facilities, also due to the small size of the blade, it proves difficult and costly to recycle. We have however partnered with South Africa’s leading metal recycler to take in all of the used DE (Double Edge) razor blades we collect.

From there the blades will go through the recycling process. SA Metal Group has over 4 generations of expertise and know-how in the field of metal recycling. Established in 1919 and serving the recycling industry for 100 years, SA Metal Group values sustainability and understands the importance of a Zero-Waste movement.

With the inception of this program, we have more ambitious goals. Namely, that we don’t just want to recycle the melted steel billets through a downward spiral of the convention, we want to upcycle the discarded blades into new products that will be either as robust as the blades themselves or something totally refined. Designing and making new products will, of course, create a direct, positive environmental impact.

How does the Blade Collection Program work?

  • Our customers have the option of purchasing a Blade Bank – this is a small steel tin with a slot at the top. When your Double Edge (DE) blade becomes dull, you simply place the blade in the opening at the top of the tin. The tin has a capacity of +/- 200 blades.
  • This is a safe way of discarding used blades. The blades are kept out of reach of children and do not end up in the trash where people and animals can be harmed by them. Blades accumulate in the tin over time. Once you have managed to fill your blade bank, (this could take anywhere from 6 months to even 3 years), the blades are ready to move along in the process to be recycled.
  • Once we have collected a significant number of blades, we will then send the blades off to be recycled at SA Metal Group.
  • We are aware of the ambitious nature of this project, but we do believe that with the help of our customers we will be able to achieve success with our initiative. Our aim is to move away from the “throwaway society” that we humans became. To reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in our landfills.

Recycle Your Blade Bank Today


    1Why do I need to purchase a new blade bank?
    Razor blades are viewed as a safety hazard and cannot be placed in an envelope for instance and couriered as normal. The sales generated from the blade banks will help us cover some of the courier expenses we will incur with this program.
    2How often will I have to purchase a new blade bank?
    Typically a DE blade will last between 5-7 shaves (depending on the blade used, your skin and hair type) – thus each of our customers will discard between 50 – 90 blades per year. Looking at how super thin these blades are and the size of the blade bank, we estimate that roughly 200 blades will fit inside a blade bank. So yes, this will not be something you will be purchasing very often.