Save The Soap

Hotels across the globe provide soap and shampoo to their guests. It’s been a mainstay of hotels since the beginning. For years there was an effort to move away from single-use items. I’ve been to a few hotels with pump bottles in the showers in order to reduce waste. Of course, COVID changed things and single-use items are back in fuller force. But, where does all that unfinished, but used, soap go? Zachary Crockett at The Hustle tells us.

Shawn Seipler launched Clean the World and set out on a mission of getting those millions of bars of wasted soap to children in need.

To do that, the first thing he’d have to do is scale his operation. But getting monetary support for a real facility proved to be difficult.

“I put together a grant application for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, imagining that Bill would walk up our driveway and hand us a check for $1m,” said Seipler. “We got a rejection notice within 8 hours of submission, with a note that said, ‘Please do not reapply for 3 years.’”

The Hustle

Seipler’s story is really interesting and one part of the goods we use that we don’t think about. If you leave used soap in a hotel, it cannot be reused. That can turn into a lot of waste of perfectly good soap. Crockett’s reporting states that at around 5m hotel rooms in the US, combined with a 66% occupancy rate, that’s 3.3m bars of soap per day. That’s a lot of soap.

Seipler’s goals are lofty, but reducing waste and in a way that benefits people is incredibly awesome.

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