On Monday, Gillette debuted a new ad campaigning calling out toxic masculinity and encouraging their customers to do more to fight it. This ad evidently made a lot of people (mostly men) angry, and they are now calling for a boycott of Gillette products. But while a well-intentioned ad is a silly reason to stop using Gillette products, there’s actually a really good reason why we should all boycott disposable razors: they’re wasteful and wind up choking our oceans.
Disposable razors are one of the most prolific forms of plastic pollution. Even the cartridge-style razors, where you only replace the razor head, are wasteful because the razor heads are made and packaged with plastic. A disposable razor head can last up to five weeks, according to Gillette itself. Considering 163 million Americans say they use disposable razors, that’s more than 1 billion razors being tossed every year in the US, even if some people aren’t replacing their razors as often as they should. It’s yet another contribution to the mountain of plastic that Americans throw out every year, much of which winds up in our oceans, and even our food.
The thing is, the solution to this problem predates disposable razors: safety razors. These are the sturdy, reusable razors you might have seen your grandpa use at one point. The only part you replace is the metal razor blade itself, which is recyclable. Tons of companies are coming out with new, lightweight designs for safety razors, so you don’t have to feel like you’re using an antique.
It’s one of the easiest swaps you can make to reduce the amount of plastic waste you produce, and it can have a big impact. So consider boycotting your disposable razor habit all together—because #saveourplanet is a way cooler hashtag to base your purchasing decisions on than #notallmen.