If you haven’t transitioned to zero waste shaving yet that’s OK. Along with my zero waste metal razor I’m still occasionally using up a package of disposable razors I purchased long before my zero waste journey began.
However, once you are done with disposable razors you can’t just throw them in the recycling bin and hope for the best. They need a bit of prep work to ensure they will be properly recycled. The metal blade needs to be separated from the plastic handle, if not its chance of being recycled reduces dramatically. For safety reasons it can’t just be pulled out, but I did find that if you heat and soften the plastic a bit you can easily separate the layers. Note: all disposable razors are likely assembled differently, so you may need to adjust these instructions a bit for the exact type you use.
What You’ll Need:
Lighter or Matches
Used Disposable razor
Now I didn’t do a great job of keeping the plastic out of the direct flame (that’s why it turned black.) You should pass the razor with the blade side facing the flame, above the flame (constantly moving) for long enough for the plastic to begin to soften, not melt!
You should then be able to peal the top layer of plastic covering the blade off completely. Properly following the instructions it should (hopefully) leave you with three pieces, the handle, the metal blade, the plastic that was covering the blade. If you count the actual razor cover (if you haven’t lost it long ago) then it will be four pieces for recycling. For me, I had a few extra bits of plastic that I snapped off because they were in my way.
If your town requires you to separate metal and plastic this is super helpful to do. If not just toss all the separate parts into your recycling bin. Even better, toss them in an open metal soup can so the small bit have a better chance of making it to the recycling facility. Happy recycling!