Response from BIC about recycling disposable razor blades

Filed in Blog by on May 27, 2009 11 Comments
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disposable razor blades end up in landfillYou might remember last month, we asked ‘have BIC solved the razor in the landfill dilema

The short answer is ‘No’.

I wrote to BIC and asked them to expand more on the landfill waste created by their razors and whether we could recycle the blades.

Here is what I wrote:

Dear Sir,

I was very excited to hear about your new BicEcolutions, as anything that can help in the environmental campaign is a step in the right direction.

I posted about these razors on my website and have had a lot of interest from readers asking about disposal of the razors at the end of their life.

They are wondering if you can put the blades in with metal recycling or whether you have to separate compostable materials from landfill and how they could be improved to produce less landfill waste.

It would be great if you would consider writing a guest article for us to clear up these concerns. We have had both Ecover and Tetrapak recycling agree to writing guest posts after interest and questions from our readers.

You can read the article here:

http://myzerowaste.com/2009/04/have-bic-solved-the-razor-in-the-landfill-dilemma/

Yours faithfully,

xxxxx

Their response was:

We thank you for your email dated April 3rd, 2009 and for you interest in our products and we apologize for the delay in replying.

We congratulate you for your website http://myzerowaste.com, which is very interesting.

We understand that some of your website readers suggest the blade to be recycled. We precise you that for safety reason, we do not encourage to dismantle this part of the shaver.

Furthermore, we would like to inform you that recycling of BIC shavers is not possible for the moment. Recycling is justifiable for products at end of life when they offer significant potential in both weight and volume, or are easy to disassemble (like automobiles glass, paper and many kinds of packaging).

Products such as shavers do not meet these criteria: they are at the same time small, lightweight and scattered – which is why no companies collect and recycle them at this time.

Lastly, in order to reduce waste materials, BIC always encourage such elements:

* Products are intended to be used for as long as possible.
* They equally are lightweight, meaning the products are designed on the principle of “just what’s necessary”.
* Packagings are optimized, according to ecodesign principles.

We remain at your disposal, (boom Boom!) should you need any additional information.

Yours sincerely.

Société BIC

Consumers Dpt.

So there you go. Not exactly moving forward, are we?! Back to hairy legs and cut throat razors …

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (11)

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  1. Sarah says:

    Hairy legs for me then……

  2. John Costigane says:

    Mrs Green,

    The approach to Bic was very worthwhile though their attitude is deplorable. They are happy to continue, like other shaving brands, as this is how their profits are made. Buy a pack, use it, throw,it away, buy a pack etc. Taxing companies for their waste may be the answer.

    It is a shame that the alternatives are male oreintated. There should a type which caters for the fair sex. The safety razor I use can be lightly drawn across the face without cutting. A lighter touch might therefore be more practical.

  3. Layla says:

    Yeah, I was wondering about this too! (swimming season coming!!)

    The recyclables here are mainly packaging – companies are required to recycle the packaging & electronics etc – why not other things too?

    I wonder if oldfashioned Gilettes are recyclable or such? (just metal)

    using my Grandpa’s old razor + Gilettes again.. :)
    at least there’s no plastics!

  4. This is one area that DH won’t budge on.

    He uses the type which have the disposable head, which at least means that not a whole razor is being put into landfill each change.

    I wonder whether an electric one would maybe be better and especially as I also have 2 boys, one of whom is getting near to that first shave time.

  5. Poppy says:

    No disposable razor problems for the man in my life – he prefers the speed and convenience of an electric shaver, which presumably has to be disposed of with the small electrical goods when it reaches the end of its life. He does very occasionally resort to a wet shave, but not often enough to worry about it and the few times that I go under the blade mean that one razor lasts for ever and ever. I’m not a hairy person :O

  6. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: It does seem like your shaving regime is working well, John, I’m afraid the occasional razor blade in landfill still comes from me as I have not yet found an alternativee I am happy with or brave enough to use!

    @Sarah: :D

    @Layla: I’m not aware of the old fashioned Gilettes. I have one where you just replace the head; likek the one Maisie describes for her husband – I get through one of these every month or less, so it’s not that bad in the scheme of things.

    @maisie dalziel: I think it’s fair enough if this is one area you DH won’t budge on. Mr Green uses an electric one, so that’s ok – I can’t remember the last time he needed to replace the foil. Perhaps it would be good to start your son in this way ;)

    @Poppy: All sorted in your house then pop tart. I wonder what Master P will favour when the time comes..

  7. Bonjour!
    Mes amis it’s possible to recycled Bic disposable Razor and do something else whit it.
    I fabricate a promotionel item and it work well.
    So it’s always possible to recycling disposable stuff!
    Best regards!
    André

  8. Layla says:

    Hi Andre Guerin!

    This is interesting! – What do you make and how?

  9. Mrs Green says:

    @André Guérin: Hello Andre – welcome to the site. I too am intrigued and would love to know what you are thinking about!

  10. I make a product which i sell from my website ( http://www.xtenda-blade.com) that allows users of disposable razor blades to greatly extend the life of the razor blades. There are many testimonials to its effectiveness on my site and i would be glad to send a sample of my product to the site moderator for testing purposes. I am able to get at least 4 months use from my Mach 3 razor with this product .

  11. James says:

    Interesting read. I’ve gone electric with a recharbable battery, and keep a 5 o’clock shadow most of the time. No water waste which is the case with a disposable razor (these are hardly decent blades to begin with and nick up my face). The cost of a disposable blade on my Fusion is exorbitant. I simply don’t use that part of the machine. I use the trimmer year round.

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