Brazil aims to protect Amazon by using sustainably harvested rubber in condoms
Hard up for ways to preserve the Amazon rainforest, the Brazilian government has announced it’s opening a condom factory that will use rubber harvested sustainably from the imperiled rainforest — no tree-chopping required. The latex will come from the Chico Mendes reserve, named for a well-known Amazon activist gunned down by ranching interests. Conservationists hope that providing locals economic incentive to leave the forest intact will help slow deforestation. The Brazilian government is also touting the program as a buy-local initiative; the new factory aims to displace about 100 million of the roughly 500 million condoms the country imports annually and distributes for free as part of its initiative to fight HIV/AIDS.