In these days of Covid, canceled flights and bad behavior, it is time for a feel-good story. What happens to that hotel bar of soap that you left in the shower? The Clean the World Foundation has the answer – recycle the soap.
The Clean the World Foundation
Clean the World is a nonprofit organization that recycles used soaps, lotions, and other toiletries from hotels. Its partners include Hilton, Marriott, and Walt Disney World Resorts, among others. Clean the World has donated over 50 million bars of recycled soap to people in need in 127 countries since its founding in 2009. The organization has had to adapt as more hotel chains move away from single-use toiletries in favor of bulk offerings
Like many great movements, the Foundation started with one person, Shawn Seipler. Shawn was staying at a Hilton Hotel and he asked what happens to the leftover soap. He was told that the hotel throws out the single-use toiletries.
Clean the World started with Hilton Hotels in March, 2009. At the beginning, Shawn and a few friends were operating out of a one-car garage. They used potato peelers and meat grinders in the initial process. In the first seven months, Hilton donated two million pounds of toiletries which became 7.6 million bars of recycled soap.
The process begins by training hotel staff on the collection and recycling process which are deposited in special bins by product. The bins are transported to any of Clean the World’s manufacturing facilities where it is first sorted by product type. Bars of soap are first surface cleaned and then sent to the sterilizing machines. After a thorough cleaning, the bars of soap are ground down before entering the forming machines where the finished product comes out. Production occurs in factories in Orlando FL, Los Angeles CA, Montreal Quebec and Hong Kong. Clean the World has kept 20 million pounds of soap out of landfills.
Where Soap Is A Needed Necessity
Imagine living in a country where soap is a rarity. Soap and clean water may be all that is separating people from disease. The new bars of soap are distributed to homeless shelters in the United States and needy countries around the world.
Clean the World has taken in over 80 million pounds of soap since it began. In that time, they have produced over 50 million bars of soap. Hilton Hotels has a goal of 100% soap recycling by 2030.
The future of hotel toiletries may shift to bulk dispensers. This is something that Clean the World is preparing for. The plan is to produce hygiene kits and corporate event packs.
This is a story of a true win-win situation. Hotels can keep toiletries out of landfills and needy people can get something we take for granted – soap. Shawn Seipler had a brilliant idea on to accomplish both. The world is being a cleaner place thanks to the Clean the World foundation.