Sex in Asia

How sustainable are condoms?

by Phoebe Neighbour

Beginning as rubber latex and becoming a single use product, the humble condom has a big impact well beyond the bedroom. Hiding in your bathroom, wallet, or purse, the condom is literally a matter of life and death.

Primitive methods of contraception included using items such as fish bladders as a barrier method. 

Rubber as a cash crop
Where does rubber grow?

Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China 

Why are we talking about condoms?

Mechai Viravaidya. Photo by Jim Fruchterman, Flickr.

What’s the dilemma?

Estimates are based on information from this article and others: Britton, Lidz-Ama Appiah and Bianca. ‘“Condoms Are like Jeans,” Says CEO of World’s Biggest Condom Maker’. CNNMoney, 4 November 2016. 

Disclaimer: Our stories have been researched and fact-checked to the best of our abilities. Should you spot mistakes, inaccuracies, or have queries about our sources, please drop us an e-mail at
In collaboration with
Phoebe Neighbour / Freelance Writer

Phoebe likes to explore the hidden corners of sustainability and environmental justice. She is a former intern at Kontinentalist, and an undergraduate student of environmental science at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She is interested in relationships between religion, culture, environment, and women’s rights. She likes to spend her spare time at the beach, eating good food, and playing with kittens.

Infographics / Joceline Kuswanto
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