Hotels

This Is What Happens to Half-Used Soap Left in Hotel Bathrooms

Well, this is absolutely fascinating.
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If you've ever completely used up the complimentary shampoo, conditioner or soap you're given in hotel rooms, you're probably one of few who've done so. Usually, before the soap is even all gone, the housekeeper replaces the bottle with a fuller version. Since Shawn Seipler, the founder of Clean the World, used to travel five months out of the year for work, he found himself wondering what happened to his amenities afterward.

"I called down to the front desk and asked what they did with all the leftover soap," he told Thrillist. Their answer: They toss it. In fact, according to Thrillist, travelers and hotels combined throw away roughly a million bars of soap a day in the United States—and five million across the world. That's why Seipler set out to solve this waste problem.

He learned that soap can be melted down, reformed and recycled (a method called rebatching). He also figured out a process that can accommodate all bathroom products hospitality companies offer. Today, hotels that partner with Clean the World pay the company 50 cents per room per month to have soaps recycled.

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In return, Seipler and his team provide the bins, pick up, delivery shipping and training for housekeeping staff. After being rebatched, the soaps are sent to NGOs and charities like the Red Cross and Salvation Army. The plastic containers are also inspected and recycled.

The organization currently has plants in Orlando, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Montreal and India. In the United States, about 5,000 hotels participate in the program, including all of Disney's properties, most of the Las Vegas Strip and places in New York and Chicago, all of which account for 20 percent of the country's hotels.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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