Hilton Worldwide Joins Soap Recycling Efforts

by  Lindsay Neff | Nov 29, 2011
Man's and woman's hands holding Earth
Man's and woman's hands holding Earth / efetova/iStock

If you’ve ever stayed at a Hilton property and wonder where your leftover soap goes, here’s your answer: The soap is shipped to the warehouse of Global Soap Project, a soap recycling nonprofit, where it’s sorted and reprocessed, then molded into new bars that go to the people who need them – refugees, orphans, and disaster victims around the world. Hilton Worldwide announced its new partnership with Global Soap Project earlier this month.

Why soap? According to the Global Soap Project, “the number one cause of preventable death of children in Africa is unsanitary living conditions mostly due to lack of soap and potable water,” and around the world children die from diseases like pneumonia that can be largely prevented with better hygiene conditions. In addition to providing soap for those in need, the Global Soap Project also prevents unused soap from being thrown out, increasing the sustainability of participating hotels.

Founded in 2009, the Global Soap Project has already distributed over 100,000 bars of soap. Hilton’s partnership and $1.3 million investment will, the project predicts, bring another million bars over the coming year alone, drastically expanding the project’s capabilities and growth, which were previously purely achieved through grassroots efforts. Further, in addition to Hilton properties, over 300 other hotels are also involved in the Global Soap Project efforts.

The Global Soap Project is not the only organization of its kind, either. Some 1,200 hospitality partners throughout North America, including Carlson Hotels and Starwood Hotels, donate hygiene products to Clean the World, also founded in 2009. Clean the World recycles soaps, shampoos, conditioners, bath gels, and lotions, and distributes them domestically and internationally to impoverished people through NGOs like World Vision and Children International. Since 2009, more than 9 million bars of soap have been collected by Clean the World, and 85% of them have already been distributed.

With an estimated 2.6 million bars of soap discarded by the hotels in the United States daily, causes like the Global Soap Project and Clean the World have plenty to collect and millions of hands they can help. As a hotel guest, what do you think? Does a hotel’s involvement with environmental and social causes increase your likelihood of choosing to stay there?

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