For sustainable society


Upcycling razor blades to cutleries

What do you use for shaving? If you’re using a disposable razor, it may be treated as unwanted action to remove unwanted things.

With the slogan “SHAVES the World from Plastic,” a US company Albatross Designs sells classic double-edged razors. A double-edged razor is a prototype of a disposable razor that has currently become mainstream in the world. The blade is a single metallic piece made of stainless steel and does not include any plastic part, unlike disposable razor blades. The company decided to sell the classic double-edged razor to reduce its environmental burden first.

However, although environmentally friendly, simply selling traditional types of products to achieve the non-use of plastics is not enough to be accepted in the world. Recognizing that only few regions recycle razor blades, the company decided to collect used blades that became dull and reuse them.

How are these collected stainless razors used? The company turned to plastic items; especially disposable cutleries―more than 100 million pieces are discarded every day in the United States alone. It tried to reduce the amount of disposable cutlery waste by making a portable set of knives, spoons, and forks made of sturdy stainless steel.

The initiative named “Albatross Blade Take Back Program” is extremely simple. You just put your used razor in the envelope that you get when you purchase the double-edged razor then send it to the company located in California. Razors from other companies are also accepted. When receiving the used razors, the company upcycle them to cutleries and sell them again for $12.99/set.

You may not be familiar with the word “up-cycle,” but unlike recycle and reuse, it refers to recreating something more valuable while taking advantage of the original shape and features. According to the Upcycle Japan Association’s website, “upcycle” means a sustainable way to convert the garbage into treasures. The association is working based on the concept of “throwing away the concept of garbage.”

Converting something discarded into something valuable in the world seems to be creative and like alchemy. Familiar things are often used in large quantities. Finding in your life something that can be upcycled may lead to bringing a great change in society.

Photo:Albatross Designs

You may also like
Bananas reduce environmental pollution from excessive plastic disposal
Dandelion used for tires as a raw material