How sustainable is the sex toy industry?

Nov 11, 2023

The sustainability of the sex toy industry is a complex issue. When we came up with the concept of Melba and being able to design your own dildo, we also discovered so much about the sex toy world and how problematic it can be.
1. Materials

Many sex toys are often made from non-recyclable materials like rubber and plastic. These materials can have a negative environmental impact due to their production and disposal. These materials are also not that safe to put in your body! However, it is possible to make toys from more eco-friendly materials, such as medical-grade silicone or biodegradable / recycled plastics. These materials are considered better because not only are they safer for your body but they can be recycled and produced in a more eco-friendly way, too.

2. Manufacturing

The manufacturing processes involved in sex toys can also have environmental implications. Some manufacturers may prioritize sustainable practices, such as using energy-efficient production methods and reducing waste, while others may not.A lot of sex toys are mass-produced, packaged in single-use plastic and shipped around the world. As they are made in bulk, it could mean they never sell the full batch, so products are made and simply get sent to landfill or cannot be recycled due to what they were made from in the first place.

3. Packaging

The packaging of sex toys can contribute to waste and environmental impact. More sustainable companies may use minimal and recyclable packaging to reduce their ecological footprint.

4. Conscious consumerism

Sustainable practices also depend on consumers’ choices. Opting for higher-quality, eco-friendly and longer-lasting toys can reduce the demand for frequent replacements and help decrease waste. Consumer choice drives change, so we can take ownership of our part of the problem too.

5. Ethics

Sustainability not only relates to environmental impact but also encompasses ethical aspects. This includes ensuring safe working conditions and fair wages for factory workers, as well as material in the supply chain – where did they come from? How were they mined or sourced? Are conflict minerals involved?

6. Disposal

Proper disposal of sex toys can be a challenge, especially for non-recyclable materials. To address this issue responsibly, there should be better routes to recycling your unwanted sex toys, which also involves more open discussion around sex toys and sexuality in general. Our aim is to create a dildo amnesty and collaborate with other companies to recycle silicone sex toys. It can be done, there are facilities that do this, it is just the accessibility that is proving to be a barrier.

7. Regulation

Because the sex toy industry is not regulated, no companies are held accountable for any of the above ecoclogical considerations, as well the safety considerations A truly terrifying thought really.

8. Taboo

Because sex toys are not talked about openly, it is easy for the ethics and safety of the industry to fly under the radar. At this moment in time, it is up to you, the consumer, to pay attention to what your toy is made of, where it came from and how… and if that all sits right with you.

While some companies in the sex toy industry have been making efforts to become more sustainable, the industry, as a whole, still has a long way to go to get anywhere close to widespread sustainability (in our opinion). As with any industry, we believe it’s crucial for consumers to research and support brands that prioritize sustainability, ethical practices, and transparency in their operations. By doing so, they can help drive positive change within the industry and promote environmentally and socially responsible practices. If you want to learn more about our story and our values, you can learn about it in our ‘About’ page.

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