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  • Brittany Truong

Guide to Soap Recycling

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Image credit: Priscilla Welch 2018

Millions of lightly-used soap bars and half-used bottled amenities are discarded by the hospitality industry around the world every day, while every year, three million children die from preventable diseases as a result of poor hygiene. 

Since its founding in 2012, Soap Cycling has been collecting lightly-used soap bars from its hotel partners in Hong Kong and overseas, which are then reprocessed and distributed to the communities that lack access to hygiene and sanitary products. 

Soap Cycling has since grown to become Asia's first and largest soap recycling charity that is largely run by students, with its hotel partnership network expanded to over 80 in Hong Kong and more than 100 hotels overseas. And Soap Cycling currently has operations in Hong Kong, China and Singapore. 

Why aren't there more organizations recycling lightly-used soap bars, then? One of the reason is the 'ick' factor: that the lightly-used soap bar is bacteria-laden. But this can't be further from the truth. First, there is no evidence showing that used soap bars can transmit disease, and in fact, studies have shown that soap bars cannot transmit disease. In its years working with recycled soap from several countries around the world, and after welcoming over 10,000 volunteers into its warehouse, Soap Cycling has never heard of anyone getting sick from either the recycling process, or from using our soap. 

There are many reasons why lightly-used soap bars discarded by the hospitality industry daily should be recycled. In addition to distributing the reprocessed soap bars to communities in need as an efficient tool in fighting against diseases, recycling soap bars also saves these life-saving resources from the landfills and contributes to waste reduction. As an organization is set up to recycle soap bars, job creation follows, and as is in the case of Soap Cycling, youth empowerment as well. 

We recycle paper, plastic, glass, and aluminium cans. Why can't we recycle the most efficient tool against diseases too? 

Find out more this week on our website about what, how, and why of soap recycling and the impact it has created.

- What, How, and Why?

Interested in the full guide? Read more here: The Complete Guide to Soap Recycling


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