The size and penetration of the market for razors and razor blades is astounding. Gillette claims to have a hold on the shaving market for some 750 million men worldwide. I think the number I saw recently was that P&G’s behemoth brand held something like 50% of the market share for shaving, which is astounding. That leaves the rest of the pie open for companies like Schick and other fresh upstarts like Dollar Shave Club (Dorco) to fuddle around.
But, if we do some simple calculation, we might be somewhat disturbed by what it means from an environmental perspective.
If, by the numbers above, some 1.5 billion men (excluding women for the purposes of this discussion) are shaving even twice a week, they are likely replacing razors at least once or twice a month.
These are conservative assumptions.
That’s 1.5 billion razor blade cartridges disposed of on a monthly basis. Where are all of these cartridges going? Landfills? Incinerators?
And cartridge razors are not exactly made of the most environmentally friendly items. Small bits of plastic and slivers of metal do not biodegrade very easily, especially when they are packaged together.
Let’s be clear, I’m not some tree hugging hippie, but anything done at the scale in which we are doing it, cannot be good for the environment.
While safety razor blades are no different, they 1) are a fraction of the size 2) degrade more easily than the mixed plastic, metal and lubricating strips on a cartridge razor and 3) are much more easily recycled.
Did I mention they cost 500% less than the best competing cartridge blades?
Do the environment a small favor and start shaving like a real man with a safety razor.