Unless you plan on holding up in a hotel room for an extended period of time, it’s safe to say that complimentary bar of soap won’t get used up. But where does that soap go after the hotel guests are gone?
At least some of it goes to Clean the World, an Orlando-based company that recycles the soap to make new soap.
The soap they use never reaches the landfill, helping the local environment and all of the new soap is distributed to areas of need. Hotels actually pay Clean the World to take their unused soap — $.50 per room, per month, according to Thrillist.
They also partner with cosmetic companies like Unilever to receive their rejected soap bars. Once the old soap arrives in one of Clean the World’s warehouses (which you can find in India, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Orlando, and Montreal), the soap is melted down and reformed into new bars. These new soaps are packaged and sent off to charities (think: Red Cross) and other NGOs around the world.
The work Clean the World is doing is impressive: In 2016, they made more than 7 million soaps and 400,000 hygiene kits. Of these bars of soap, 500,000 went to help those affected by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti and the Bahamas.
The company also works with half-used shampoo, body wash, and conditioner bottles. These items are closely inspected (bottles must be 3/4 full), emptier bottles are recycled, and then they are included in the aforementioned hygiene kits — which also include toothbrushes, toothpaste, and hand sanitizer — before being distributed to homeless shelters all over the globe.