Group Hopes Recycled Hotel Soap Helps Save Lives Worldwide
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Shawn Seipler is on a mission to save lives with soap.
It began about seven years ago as a tiny operation with a few friends and family in a single-car garage in Orlando, Florida, where they used meat grinders, potato peelers and cookers to recycle used soap into fresh bars.
The nonprofit initiative, now called Clean the World, has since grown to include industrial recycling facilities in Las Vegas, Orlando and Hong Kong, cities where hotels are plentiful and used bars of soap can be gathered easily by the thousands.
A frequent traveler as a tech company employee, Seipler had a thought one night at a Minneapolis hotel.
“I picked up the phone and called the front desk and asked them what happens to the bar of soap when I’m done using it,” he recalled. “They said they just threw it away.”
Seipler, now the group’s CEO, said some research revealed that millions of used bars of soap from hotels worldwide are sent to landfills every day while many people in developing nations are dying from illnesses that could be prevented with access to simple hygiene products.
Thus began his mission to help save lives with soap and even half-used bottled amenities like shampoo.