We’ve heard of counterfeit condoms before… But USED condoms for sale? Wow. This festive season is seeing a shocking trend among more unscrupulous store owners and recyclables dealers as used condoms are being ‘recycled’ and sold in some stores and pharmacies. The latex prophylactics are gathered together at sewage and recycling plants and washed out, before being re-rolled and resealed. They’re then shipped and sold as ‘budget’ brands across North America.
A pharmacy in Garfield Heights, Ohio, was raided by authorities in early November after they had received a tip-off from a disgruntled former employee about the sale of these ‘recycled’ items. The repackaging happens mostly in China, Korea and Indonesia and the shipments come in alongside regular cargo in shipping containers. While the risk of infection or contamination is relatively low, the condoms are still unsafe and illegal.
Any store found selling them faces a loss of trading license and fines of up to $100,000. And with good reason, latex condoms are designed to be destroyed after one use. And the idea that they’ve been used before is a pretty sickening one for anyone unfortunate to have have duped.
“These condoms are unsafe, unsanitary and a total breach of customer’s trust. The practice of recycling them is unhygienic and downright nasty”, says Janet Henderson, a spokesperson for Great American Condom Campaign (GACC).
“Anyone who has bought these things, especially from independent shop, pharmacies or supermarkets should carefully check the products and then contact someone.”
The advice is to only buy brands that you know and are familiar with. Large condom companies would never sell used items, so stick to what you know in order to avoid a nasty surprise this Christmas.
If you don’t recognize the branding, the condoms are strangely cheap or you any other misgivings about the purchase, put down the packet and opt for a brand you can trust.
Stay vigilant, stay safe!