Future’s bright for the hotel soap we once threw away
You expect to find fresh soap in the bathroom when you stay in a hotel but what happens to that partly-used bar after you leave?
Usually, it would get thrown away – piling up 949million bars each year – but one fast-growing French non-profit organisation is working to change that and create jobs for disabled people.
Lyon-based Unisoap was created in 2017 and it collects partially-used soap from hotel chains such as Novotel, Radisson and Sofitel and recycles them into new bars, which it then donates to local and international groups to promote hygiene and help the underprivileged.
It is the brainchild of Lyon businessman Ludovic Loffreda, who was working in Dubai and realised how much hotel soap was wasted. He set up operations in Lyon and Dubai to recycle the soap, create jobs for the disabled and help save lives.
Globally, 2.2million children die every year from hygiene-related diseases but simple hand-washing gets rid of 92% of bacteria and can cut illness such as flu and dysentery by 50%.
Unisoap works with big-name hotels in France and the United Arab Emirates and the amount saved is impressive. This year, in a few months, it recycled 184kg of soap from Hôtel Lyon Métropole and 74kg at Lyon Radisson Bleu.
It is collected from the hotels – who pay for the recycling – then is processed and repacked for distribution to charities, schools and hospitals.