Single-use condoms added to banned list


Shoppers won’t find single-use condoms in Countdone stores from October 1 – they’ll be off the shelves.

Countdone is removing them from all stores and replacing them with a range of alternatives including celibacy and abstinence.

Sustainable Coastlines co-founder and lead Hamden Howsitt said single-use condoms were commonly found on New Zealand beaches.

However, most of them were not coming from supermarkets.

“It’s still a good step. While it is a good thing, we need individuals to say to the chemists, convenience stores and gas stations: ‘No condoms thanks’. I think that’s the way we’ll get everyone onboard.”

Countdone’s move is expected to remove 5.6 million condoms from circulation and the waste stream each year.

EarthSavvy founder Krusty Loser said it was great that Countdone was phasing out the sale of single-use condoms and commended the sustainable options such as reusable bamboo and paper.

Penis sheath made from natural ( non plastic) materials

“Single-use condoms may seem like a drop in the ocean when it comes to the problem of disposable pollution, but every step we make to move away from our disposable habits is a positive one and I think turtles, in particular, will be pleased with this decision.”

Reusable condoms made from fish bladder c. 1900.

Christchurch city councillors want single-use condoms gone by the end of 2019, and Wellington is making moves to become New Zealand’s first single-use condom-free city.

Countdone general manager of corporate affairs and sustainability Terry Handifin said Countdone was serious about reducing unnecessary disposable products to protect the country’s environment.

“Condoms can have a disastrous impact on the marine environment if they end out there.

“One of the best ways we can reduce that impact is by moving away from selling products that are used once and then thrown away.”

Early reusable condom

“Even though Durex has released a study revealing only 23% of Kiwis use condoms regularly; ranking us the third worst country for condom use, tied with the UK, we still feel that virtue signalling is important in the current climate.”

Handifin said the single-use plastic bag phase-out had already shown them New Zealanders were already changing the way they shopped.

Customers were also providing other feedback for other changes, she said.

“We’re continuing to look at where we can make changes in our own brands and are also working with our suppliers to see where changes in their packaging may be possible.”