Have Bic solved the razor in the landfill dilemma?

Filed in Blog by on April 1, 2009 16 Comments
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bic ecolutions for a green, environmentally friendly shaveA ground breaking story for you today, folks!

After five years of extensive research, BIC will today launch the UK’s first ever branded bioplastic shaver – BIC ecolutions.

BIC has succeeded in developing a manufacturing process that converts corn, a renewable resource, into a resistant plastic.

As a part of BIC’s eco-design process, its packaging has been reduced to a minimum and is made from 100% recycled bleach free cardboard, coloured with inks made from vegetable based pigments.

According to BIC, bioplastic is the most promising alternative to oil-based plastic, which will reduce its CO2 footprint dramatically.

Still a disposable product, the shavers come in packs of four, with each shaver offering up to 10 shaves. But it’s a step in the right direction, right?!

Check out Bic Ecolutions for more of the gossip.

I know one or two of you have been brave and gone for a cut throat razor, but for the rest of us chickens (or those with shaky hands), this might be worth looking in to!

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 (16)

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  1. Mrs Green says:

    Actually, it makes little difference to the landfill. I just read on their site that the spent blades still end up in landfill. Bummer. I thought they might biodegrade or something…
    Ah well, at least the packaging is better!

  2. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    A steel safety razor is a good choice since the 2 sided removable razor blade lasts for months. There is a small plastic container of 5 blades – 20 in all, which I might send back. The blades are all metal and can be recycled at the council metal waste bin.

    I also have a First World War switchback. That style is Zero Waste.

  3. Oh I love these announcements. And I especially enjoy the fact that they seem to come out today of all days…A good date to grab the headlines though whatever progress they’re making. Have you seen the latest news from Tesco about the tesco packaging waste trial – see link below (I particularly like the comments). They are all steps in the right direction though


    P.S. – love your other posts too. Sorry I haven’t been around much – still feel a bit wobbly but a great piece of detective work there. 😀 x

  4. Poppy says:

    Could the blades not go in with the metal recycling?

  5. John Costigane says:

    @Almost Mrs Average: Hi Mrs A, That is a good link, especially for the consumer points which were supermarket savvy.

    My cynical view is that Tesco would be happy to burn this extra waste. They also want to increase sales to Zero Waste types but I for one do not buy their propaganda.

  6. Karin says:

    I like the idea of biodegradable plastic, but cornstarch comes from maize, which is the staple diet of many in parts of the American continent. I believe the price went up a few years ago when maize was being used in biofuels, and many people were very unhappy that the price of tortillas went up, which is no joke if you are a poor Mexican.

    Plus, things break down very slowly if they are in an environment that is lacking in air, such as landfill.

    Alternatives to disposable razors are not so pleasant to use, so perhaps hairy should become more fashionable. I’m not sure what the answer is.

  7. VegBoxClara says:

    Karin – so often I decide to go hairy … But after the years (and generations) of media brainwashing, my husband finds it very difficult to embrace (hahahah) … So I returned to the razor. What’s the Zero Waste low down on epilators, waxing and electrolysis (for the laydeez – I’m not suggestion the blokes wax their faces every day, although I’m ROFL thinking about it!)

  8. Sarah says:

    Ah for me the media hairlessness is a feminist thing and I go hairy.

    So if the body of the razor will biodegrade but the blade won’t – what is the position on disposing of it? Do we recycle with plastics? Put it in the compost? Break it open and remove the blade?

  9. I like the preserve razor option better. It’s made of 100% recycled plastic – yes plastic, but at least it’s recycled, adn they take the razors back when your done and recycle them in to something else. Lest we forget that biodegradable plastics need to make it into a commercial compost facility in order to break down properly and I don’t think that they allow razor blades in the compost stream.

    But you’re right, any step is a better step. I’ve been shaveless for about 6 months now and I can’t wait until my year is up so I can buy razors again!

  10. Carole Blake says:

    You know every New Year I make resolutions, and I think I’m pretty good at sticking with most of them, some for life, some just for a year or so.

    In the last few years I’ve made resolutions to: only buy my clothes from charity shops (and have stuck with this about 95% for several years now, only buying undies and shoes new); give up chocolate (managed that one for two years!!); stop biting my nails (twenty years that one so far); recycle whenever possible (ongoing), but I’ve never managed to get myself out of shaving, and I’m afraid it’s just too ingrained. Maybe it’s one to try. I’ll have to canvass my other half; can he stand me with stubbly legs etc?? I’m not one of these finehaired blondes tho’, and I just know I’ll end up looking like a cavewoman!!!!

    Maybe I’ll have to adopt the eyebrow solution. Tweezers anyone??


  11. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: You’re just too brave for me, John. I’m glad you have found a solution, however, and it’s not quite so bad for the girls – we don’t HAVE to shave every day…

    @Almost Mrs Average: Good to see you, Mrs A. I hope you are recovering, Thanks for the link; I’ll take a gander after I’m up to date with all the comments 🙂

    @Poppy: I guess they are in plastic, Poppy. I wouldn’t fancy taking one apart – eek! Maybe I should invite someone from Bic to write for us 😉

    @Karin: Hi karin, It is a true conundrum. The idea of plastics and fuel from food is something that weighs heavy on my heart and I honestly don’t know what the answer is – except for us to let go of our love of stuff and long haul flights …
    I do embrace my inner cave women during the winter, but I’m just not ready for a summer jaunt yet!

    @VegBoxClara: Luckily, Mr Green doesn’t give a damn one way or the other, so I know it’s my own preference. But if I go right back and look at that preference it is bound to be a society pressure somewhere along the line. Perhaps we should all move to France.
    now waxing, could be zero waste – you could make your own sugaring and use old clothes in strips. those vile creams and full of chemicals, not to mention the packaging.
    I guess electrolysis is ok; you might end up with some WEEE, but it wouldn’t be too bad. Just imagine how long it would take though 🙁

    @Sarah: Good for you, sarah. i don’t know what the bottom line is with these razors. I think i’m going to contact them 😉

    @Jen from CleanBin: I don’t know if that make is available over here, Jen. but I have heard of them. So you’re going hairy for a year and then you reckon you’ll shave again – is that right? so a year won’t make you think ‘ah, ok, this is it for me now’?
    Funny isn’t it – the things we can change about ourselves and the things we don’t want to…

    @Carole Blake: That’s my issue, carole. I’m dark, REALLY dark and copious amounts thereof LOL! I think I would frighten men away and their sexuality would be threatened 😀
    If it was all blonde and fine I might be ok with it, but I dipped into the genetic pool and came up with black 😀
    Ho hum …

    It’s been an interesting topic; that’s for sure. What a shallow bunch we are LOL!

  12. Layla says:

    lol.. Interesting topic indeed!!

    me & sis go ‘natural’ in winter months.. (she’s darker than me, so for swimming or such she succumbed to the razor earlier than I have)
    summertime used to be ‘razor time’.. especially with spaghetti tops.. not sure how it will be this year, hmm? (I do have Grandpa’s old razor too, that only uses Gilettes, for occasional use, but yes I have cut myself with it before, so maybe not ideal for using all the time..)
    I usually used my old razor (with just disposable razors, not fully disposable) – or my sister’s? (Does that count? ;))

    Mom has advised ‘no razor’ for a loong time (she said that hairs really go hairy & stubborn after you start shaving..!)
    I think she may be partly right!!

    for a long time I went without.. especially for the legs..
    then I succombed to fashion due to a silly crush & some white tights (& a recital of Scottish poetry! – don’t ask! :))

    my ideas: re-fashion (wearing different styles of T-shirts etc) or long dresses/skirts/pants? 😉 hmm..
    at least for some of the time?

  13. Mrs Green says:

    I’d say your mother is right, Layla – better to leave alone in the first place. A bit late for that now though LOL!

    I need to know more about this crush who recited you Scottish poetry 😀

  14. Poppy says:

    I had an email from Bic today (in very stilted English – miles better than my stilted French!!) They say not to take it apart and as I’m unlikely to use such things, I probably won’t, but a hammer and a firm boot can do wonders 😀 I’ve had similar issues with small items that contain cell or button batteries and haven’t been beaten yet 😀

  15. Mrs Green says:

    Hi poppy, well that was a quick response. I’ve not heard anything. I guess you’re a woman not to be messed with then 😀

  16. Poppy says:

    @Mrs Green:

    Unfortunately as I’m sure you know, they don’t all respond. I’m still waiting on Danone and more recently Warburtons.

    I don’t think I’ll hold my breath………….

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