Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Recycled Condoms in Hair-bands

Yes you read that right! Used condoms are being recycled in China to make elastic hair bands. According to health experts, these products can spread STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) even if they are recycled. The bands contain viruses and bacteria and people can get infected with genital diseases and AIDS if they hold the band in their mouth while waving hair into a bun or plaits. There are several manufacturers in China that are recycling used condoms to make these bands that are not only cheap but also long lasting.

Condom recycling is not legal in China. In the last few years, various scandals have come in news about Chinese manufacturers making dangerous and shoddy goods for domestic as well as international markets. The finished product is sold in packets of ten. Approximately 1,000 used condoms are required to manufacture 100 packets. But the big question is – where do these condoms come from and who collects it? Defective condoms in bulk are collected from manufacturers and repurposed for making cheap hair bands. These products can be easily found in markets and beauty salons in Guangzhou and Dongguan cities.

One packet of elastic hair band includes 10 hair ties and it costs 3 cents (25 fen) at the local Chinese market. It all started with a news report that emerged in November 2007 about manufacturers recycling condoms to make hair bands. According to reports, a young woman living in Dongguan city cut a band in order to investigate what it was made of.

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