News & Opinion | September 25, 2020 8:00 am

Thousands of “Recycled” Condoms Were Confiscated in Vietnam

The used condoms were being washed, repackaged and sold as new.

recycled condoms
Don't try this at home.
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Generally speaking, recycling is good. Is it going to be enough to save us from the harrowing and increasingly inevitable consequences of climate change? Probably not — but hey, worth a shot. Recycling used condoms, on the other hand, is not good, and is not worth a shot.

How, exactly, does one recycle a used condom? The method one warehouse in Vietnam, from which the Guardian reports a staggering trove of “recycled” condoms was recently confiscated, relied on involves boiling, drying and reshaping used condoms on a wooden phallus before repackaging and reselling them.

According to the report, police confiscated around 794 pounds’ worth of the recycled condoms from a warehouse in the southern province of Binh Duong. The owner of the warehouse reportedly claimed to be receiving a “monthly input of used condoms from an unknown person,” which were then recycled using the above-mentioned process and resold as new.

Considering condoms can easily break just in the process of the activity for which they are literally designed, I find it hard to believe already used condoms — or even new condoms, for that matter — could withstand such a dramatic cleaning, drying and wooden-phallus-reshaping process. Even if they can, however, it goes without saying that using such condoms is not only disgusting, but also probably pretty dangerous and ineffective.

Unfortunately, it’s apparently unclear just how many of these recycled condoms were sold before police busted the operation, meaning right now, people could be out there just trying to be responsible, and instead putting their dick in a used condom.

For a society of people who are generally pretty bad at using condoms to begin with, this is obviously not great news. But please continue to use condoms, and please don’t try to recycle your own at home.