BBC Eco-sex article headline

Action: Make your sex life greener!

Carbon emissions and plastic pollution are even affected by our sex lives!

No really … read on …

At World Savers we are always looking for new ideas for saving carbon and plastic … this time we must thank the BBC ( for inspiring this action with their article about eco-sex!.

So this week’s action is to think about whether your sex life could be a little bit more eco-friendly.

Carbon emissions, fossil fuels, plastic and waste

Here are some of the things to think about:



The UN Population Fund estimates around 10 billion male latex condoms are manufactured each year and most are disposed of in landfills.

That’s 10,000,000,000!  Every year!

Of course, most condoms are made from synthetic latex and use additives and chemicals, so they cannot be recycled.

And condoms should never be reused. Ever.

The major issue then is disposal … a surprising number (estimated at many tens of millions) get flushed down the toilet and end up clogging our waste water systems.

Please, protect our water systems and waterways, dispose of your used condom’s in the household waste.


Many lubes are petroleum-based, i.e. they are made from fossil fuels.

There has been a response to this in recent years in the form of a rise in water-based or organic products, and even homemade options are becoming more popular. However, caution must be taken with some greener products, as some can’t be used with latex condoms because they may cause breakage.


Sex toys are another area where the use of plastic is widespread. Steel or glass alternatives are available, while the option of buying rechargeable toys also helps reduce battery waste. There are even solar powered sex toys on the market.

Companies such as LoveHoney also offer a sex toy amnesty where they assist in recycling old and broken toys that cannot go through typical recycling routes.

Other ideas

  • purchasing ethically made lingerie and clothing
  • go for sustainable bamboo, organic cotton, silk and linen for bed sheets and lingerie
  • they also feel nicer!
  • avoid man made fabrics (plastics)
  • opt for reusable washcloths
  • buy products that use non-plastic packaging – condoms, lube and toys generate packaging that ends up in landfills.

Two very important points

  1. Protecting yourself against STIs is important, don’t compromise your health
  2. Before making any decisions around contraception, speak to a doctor or family planning professional

Take action

Next time you are buying sex products, just like any purchase you should have ethics, plastic, carbon emissions and waste in mind. Please make the greener choice where you can, but don’t compromise your health when doing so.

Please sign up for our fortnightly bulletin Take Action using the simple form below, thank you!

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