Not everyone in the world has the same amenities that are oftentimes taken for granted in our industrialized society. Things like clean water and basic hygiene products may be something that’s readily available or easy enough to access here in the United States, but elsewhere, that’s not the case. Some organizations are putting in a great effort to provide soap to those without.

The onset of many diseases seen in developing countries is partially due to the lack of access to hygiene products. As many of us have been reminded growing up to wash our hands with water…and soap that’s not always an option for those living in lesser off situations. According to, “Pneumonia and diarrheal disease are two of the leading causes of death among children 5 years old.” These both could be combated if soap and proper hygiene educated was available in areas of the world that are deprived of these amenities.

As it is, reusing and recycling products has grown in popularity and is an initiative that’s often encouraged. However, often time’s products are tossed away without a second thought. It’s common to see recycling bins around reading paper, plastic etc. and so people may recycle bottles and cans frequently, but what about soap?

According to, “Each day, more than 2.6 million bars of partially-used soap are thrown out by hotels in the United States.” When I think back to the times I’ve spent staying at hotels, I don’t recall ever going through a bar of soap that the hotel supplied the bathroom with. In fact, half of the time I’ve ended up bringing my own soap and hygiene products. Regardless, all the soap that goes unfinished usually is wasted and thrown away by hotels. That’s why donating these unused bars of soap to organizations like Global Soap is such a great idea to combat waste and better the lives of others all at once.

According to, “Each week, we’re removing more than 7,500 pounds of used soap from the waste stream, and converting it into 30,000 new bars of soap.” Other organizations are also involved such as Eco-Soap Bank. This organization works to collect gently used soap from hotels in Cambodia to then sanitize and recycling them into new bars of soap. Those bars of soap are then donated. According to, “75 percent of rural Cambodians still lack steady access to soap, and the Eco-Soap Bank seeks to address the critical need for hygiene.” No one should fall ill because they aren’t able to access basic hygiene products.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “An estimated 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation (more than 35% of the world’s population).” The majority of these people live in rural settings. All hotels should be committed to recycling their soap products wherever possible so that people don’t suffer from easily preventable illnesses. By throwing away soaps after guests finish their stay at a hotel, no direct harm is being done. However, if hotels recycle these soaps to be sanitized and donated to those in need, a direct impact can be made in bettering the quality of life for those without the amenities we take for granted.

Adam Urquhart can be contacted at 

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