The Paper Razor
Water-resistant paper and steel
The razors are easily flat-packed and shipped, used, and then recycled. Each razor reduces waste from plastic disposable razors by 98%
A pack of one razor blade and five paper handles costs around USD $10.30 but is only available for sale in Japan
Japan-based Kai Group
The paper is recyclable after a few uses. The razor head can be attached to paper handles and used until the blades become too dull for use.
You Need a New Razor
158.10 million Americans used disposable razors in 2020, and Statista projects this figure will increase to 160.16 million in 2024. That’s a lot of plastic. In the 1980s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US estimated that two billion razors and refill blades were thrown away each year, but the EPA no longer estimates a number. As USA Today reports, attempts at establishing recycling programs have failed, and people continue to use the plastic razors a few times before tossing them into a landfill.
But we aren’t dependent on plastic, disposable razors. One answer to this pile of plastic and metal is the safety razor. This category is reusable and has been in use since the eighteenth century. Hundreds of brands and styles exist, all of which are relatively heavy and have a higher up-front price but almost no maintenance costs.
What about when a light, disposable razor is necessary? The Paper Razor from Japan is an ecologically sound alternative to the disposable plastic razor.
Kai’s Paper Razor comes with an all-paper body and metal blade head. Designed to be flat-packed, the single-use razor comes completely unfolded and can easily be put together in a matter of seconds by merely folding in the sides and the top to create a rigid, ergonomic razor with a grippy handle. Its origami-inspired design gives it as much strength and maneuverability as a plastic razor while minimizing the use of plastic by as much as 98%. Kai tells Dezeen, “Paper Razor aims to transform the razor into a plastic-free item and reduce plastic emissions."
Paper Razor and M21D
The Paper Razor demonstrates affordable, sustainable design that has the potential to be used by millions, thus significantly reducing plastic pollution. M21D eagerly searches for user interviews, information about the product packaging, and production conditions.
Environmental Consumer's Handbook, United States Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. population: Usage of disposable razor blades / shavers from 2011 to 2024, Statista Research Department