Here’s What Some Hotels Do With Those Used Bars of Soap

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Several years ago, Erin Zaikis was working in rural Thailand. She was surprised to see how many children in the village didn’t wash their hands with soap, much less know what soap was.

“Just hearing that someone who’s 11, 12, 13 and has lived their whole life without something that I took for granted every single day of mine was the catalyst for thinking about a solution to this problem,” said Zaikis.

Back in New York she did some research. “Everyone’s talking about clean water, but no one’s talking about soap,” she discovered. “I felt like if I didn’t do something, no one would.”

In 2013 Zaikis founded Sundara, a nonprofit working to improve hygiene and prevent disease in poor communities in India, Uganda and Myanmar by recycling used bars of hotel soap. Hotels pay a fee to join the program and have used bars of soap and liquid soap taken off their hands, so to speak.

Community workers mold the clean scraps into new bars of soap and distribute them to schools, health clinics and community centers, where paid “hygiene ambassadors” teach others the importance of using soap to stay healthy.

Source: PBS (link opens in a new window)

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