Should you flush condoms down the toilet? A deep dive.

Should you flush condoms down the toilet? A deep dive.

If condoms were Harry Styles, we’d be the tweens at the front of the mosh.

We’re up there as condoms' biggest fans. They’re an effective form of contraception, they’re vital in preventing the transmission of sexual diseases and infections, and they can play an incredibly important role in practising safe sex.

In saying this, when not disposed of properly - *cough* when they’re flushed down the toilet *cough* - condoms are not the most eco-friendly of products. Nearly 30 billion of them are sold worldwide each year, though not all of these are thoughtfully discarded.

Whether latex or non-latex, used or sperm-free, condoms should not be flushed down the loo. Just because they’re small enough to flush doesn’t mean they should be (eg. tampons, goldfish, your annoying sister’s mobile phone, etc.). 

So, let’s discuss why you shouldn’t flush your condoms down the toilet, what happens when you do, and how you can thoughtfully discard your used Jonny’s instead. 

Not all condoms are biodegradable.

Whether latex, natural latex, non-latex, plastic or animal-derived, not all condoms are equally biodegradable. Latex does eventually break down in time, however this process can be delayed depending on the condom. Because of their natural composition, lambskin condoms are biodegradable, though due to their natural pores, are not effective in preventing STDs. Synthetic rubbers and plastic, on the other hand, do not biodegrade. To make matters worse, condoms - even the natural latex ones - do not break down in water, which makes it all the more important to keep your toilet totally condom-free.

Flushed condoms endanger marine life.

Approximately 30% of Australian couples use condoms for contraception and preventing STIs, however not all of these condoms are disposed of properly. Condoms that have been flushed down the toilet after use can make their way to our waterways through our toilet drainage systems or by irresponsible sewage dumping (see this totally disgusting albeit incredibly eye-opening video showing flushed condoms in a Canadian river). 

Just like plastic bags, plastic beer rings and other plastic debris, marine animals mistake a floating condom for food, which - as we can all imagine - does not often have a happy ending. Put your Jonny’s in the bin, not down the toilet. Do it for the fish.

Bad for your plumbing and sewerage system.

Yet another reason not to flush your used Jonny’s. If the toilet is your preferred vehicle for condom disposal, you may eventually be in for a seriously nasty (and seriously expensive) shock. Flushed condoms can build up in your toilet system, which can ultimately clog the pipes and cause a buildup of other materials. You get the picture. 

Clogged toilets = not a good time.

Even if they’re wrapped in toilet paper?

Yep, afraid so. Whether wrapped in toilet paper, flower petals or a magical biodegradable wrapper sprinkled with unicorn dust, condoms themselves are not safe to be flushed down the loo. They’re not safe for marine life, for your toilet system or for your bank account. We’d also recommend keeping sanitary products, wipes, dental floss, nappies, paper towels and cotton buds away from your toilet while you’re at it!

Be a lover, not a flusher.

As we know, it is no longer cool to flush your condoms down the loo. (It never really was, to be fair). Instead of flushing condoms down the toilet, thoughtfully dispose of them instead. The planet, its sea animals and your sewage system will all thank you for it. 

Jonny can help you here. With every ultra-thin, super effective, totally vegan Jonny condom, you also get an eco-disposal bag for environmentally-friendly and discreet post-sex disposal. Made from recycled materials, Jonny’s eco-disposal bags are designed to divert used condoms from our precious waterways in the most dashing and discreet way possible. 

Oh, and Jonny’s condoms (and accompanying eco-friendly disposal bags) are now also available from stockists including Coles, Chemist Warehouse and Priceline, making it easier than ever to be a little more environmentally friendly when stocking up on condoms. Eco-friendly sex, anyone? Be good. Choose Jonny.

The wrap-up.

At the end of the day, in order to ensure their effectiveness, modern condoms are a single use item - regardless of the materials they’re made from. Not all of them are biodegradable, and none of them degrade in water, which makes thoughtfully discarding them even more important. The least we can do as sexually active beings is to responsibly dispose of used condoms, to keep them away from our delicate ecosystems, and to avoid flushing them down the toilet at all costs. Say it with us now: be a lover, not a flusher.