top of page

The Paper Razor

Image credit: Kai Group


Water-resistant paper and steel


Ongoing research into the working conditions for manufacturing and distributing the razors


People working in the Japan-based Kai Group


Shaving human hair and other instances in which close cuts are required


A pack of one razor blade and five paper handles costs around USD $10.30 but is only available for sale in Japan


Ongoing research into the razor's impact on social hierarchies

Life cycle

The razors are easily flat-packed and shipped, used, and then recycled. Each razor reduces waste from plastic disposable razors by 98%. 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.

Do you have something to add? Let us know! 

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.


bottom of page