10 Oct Condoms: Reuse, Recycle or Trash?
Believe it or not, some people reuse their condoms. In fact, some condoms are specifically designed that way. Surprised? Don’t be. Your regular everyday condoms (Durex, Gold Circle, Trojan) are not designed that way and should never be reused. Condoms designed for reuse are made from silicone and are called Penis extenders like this one
In the most literal sense, both male condoms and female condoms CANNOT be recycled…meaning that each condom can ONLY be used ONE time (some women believe that they can wash out the female condom and use it again — this is definitely NOT true or recommended).
Now that you know that condoms should not be reused, how about the actual condom itself? Can the condom be recycled? Nope — there are no recycling programs for condoms.
If we can’t Recycle Condoms, Where Do Our Used Condoms Go?
Most condoms are made from three materials: Latex, Lambskin and Polyurethane. Latex condoms (made from the sap of rubber) and lambskin condoms can be broken down, meaning, they are biodegradable. While,
and female condoms (made from a plastic material) are not biodegradable at all.
Unfortunately, because there has not really been any major research on this topic, we really do not know how long it takes latex and lambskin condoms to break down when they end up in landfills.
So What Should You Do With a Used Condom?
To start with, never flush a condom down the toilet. There are several reasons for this.
1.Once latex is in water, it is no longer biodegradable.
2.Flushed condoms can clog your plumbing — this can be expensive to fix (and potentially embarrassing if the plumber can identify the cause of your clog!).
3.These used condoms travel along with other water waste and can end up in our oceans and lakes.
The best rule of thumb is to wrap a used condom in toilet paper, a tissue, or even a paper bag, and put it in the garbage. All these items are biodegradable, so this is the most environmentally-friendly way to throw away a condom.
Thanks for reading!