Our first plastic free shaving guide explained how switching to a double edge safety razor reduces waste and improves your environmental footprint (while also improving your shave!). Switching to a DE razor is a fantastic way to start (and you can find out more about choosing the best safety razor here!), but there are other steps you can take to become more environmentally friendly with your shave.
Single Use Plastic vs Reusable
There are two varieties of plastic that can be found around our homes: single-use plastic and reusable. Unfortunately, the most common variety is single-use. The name is self-explanatory: it refers to plastic which we use once before throwing away. It’s often plastic that can’t be recycled too, which is even worse for the environment. It includes things like the films that encase DVD boxes, plastic packaging around your vegetables, crisp packets, bottles of water - and the products found in our bathroom cupboards are no exception.
Reusable plastic, on the other hand, is plastic that we use multiple times - or can use multiple times such as plastic boxes. Reusable plastic is much better for the environment than single-use plastic.
Choose reusable plastic over single use
If you can’t find an alternative to plastic - or it’s too far out of your budget at this time - then you can still choose reusable plastic over single use. For example, some shaving soaps come wrapped in single-use plastic. Instead, you could opt for shaving soap in reusable plastic pots.
This soap from Meissner Tremonia comes in a reusable glass container. The high quality shaving soap is perfect for achieving a smooth and close shave. Once the soap has been used up, you can purchase shaving soap refills from various producers which will help reduce your overall consumption of packaging. A great way to reduce your environmental footprint without sacrificing the quality of your shave.
Plastic Free Shaving
While switching to reusable plastic alternatives is a great start, going completely plastic free is even better. Plastic doesn’t decompose like other materials. Depending on the variety of plastic, it can take between 450 and 1000 years to break down. Given how much plastic we consume as a society, this is a real problem. Plastic ends up in our ecosystems, polluting the oceans, poisoning animals, and taking up incredible amounts of space in constantly growing landfills.
There are alternatives to plastic products made from other materials which are much better for the environment. We’ve already discussed the multiple benefits of using double edge safety razors which are made of metal rather than plastic, but there are plenty of other switches that can be made in your bathroom.
Plastic Free Shaving Soap
Some plastic free shaving soaps can be more expensive than the reusable plastic alternatives mentioned above, but they’re worth it if you want to improve your environmental footprint.
The English Shaving Company have a range of shaving soaps in wooden bowls. These are not only high-quality soaps that produce smooth shaves, but also look fantastic in your bathroom! Below are a couple of our favourite, wooden container shaving soap options. They also make fantastic gifts.
While shower gel plastic bottles and hand soap pumps are usually recyclable, it’s still much more environmentally friendly to opt for a plastic-free alternative. Bars of soap are a great choice. They’re often wrapped simply in paper or card or come in a neat presentation tin, and are usually made from natural ingredients which promote the health of your skin. They also tend to last a lot longer than the bottled equivalent too!
There is a huge range of options available including Triumph & Disaster’s Shearer's Soap Bar. It creates a rich and creamy lather that smells wonderful. You could also try Saponificio Varesino 70th Anniversary Soap which keeps your skin feeling soft and luxurious.
Plastic Free Soap for Travelling
When you’re travelling, it might seem better to choose a shower gel in a bottle for ease of transport. However, we love this Arran Lochranza soap in a tin. The tin means that it can be easily carried around without leaving soapy residue in your wash bag, even after your soap has been used.
Muhle make a beautiful wooden shaving brush from a mixture of genuine ash wood and chrome. It’s a pure badger hair brush, which helps you to achieve a massaging and flexible shave. Not only is it plastic-free, it also looks fantastic.
This shaving brush from Edwin Jagger is made from nickel. It’s not only a plastic-free option, but it’s also designed for travelling. With a tube to protect the brush, it’s a great choice to make your shave plastic free even when you’re on the move.
Aftershave is important to finish your shave well, disinfecting and soothing your skin. A lot of aftershaves come in plastic bottles, but there are plenty of glass bottles and metal tins available.
This aftershave balm from Dapper Dan Barbershop is a soothing way to finish your shave and moisturise your skin. It comes in a metal tin with a screw top lid. It’s both easy to use and plastic free. Dapper Dan also do a great matt clay for styling hair.
Environmentally Friendly Shaving
Do you have any more tips for environmentally friendly shaving? We would love to hear about your experiences in the comments.