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Hilton Worldwide, Soap Cycling, DHL Global Forwarding, and United World College South East Asia Students partner to launch soap recycling program in Singapore
On average, less than half a soap bar gets used by guests at the Hilton Singapore. In the meantime, thousands of underprivileged families in Asia – especially in South Asia – cannot afford to buy soap. Furthermore, almost 600,000 children in South Asia die before their fifth birthday, because of infections like diarrhoea and pneumonia. It is for these reasons that access to adequate hygiene facilities is increasingly seen as a fundamental human right.
To try and answer this need, and reduce waste, Hilton Worldwide collaborated with Soap Cycling, Asia’s first soap recycling NGO; DHL Global Forwarding, leading provider of air, sea and road freight services in Europe and Asia; and a group of passionate students at the United World College to recycle its bars of soap.
Since June 2014, Hilton Singapore and Conrad Centennial Singapore have begun collecting used bars of soap from guest rooms. These soap bars are then picked up by DHL Global Forwarding, who transports them to Soap Cycling’s processing warehouse in Hong Kong. There, the soap is processed into new bars of soap. These are then transported by NGOs to vulnerable communities in the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, and other countries across Asia.
Established in 2012, Soap Cycling Limited is the first non-profit soap recycling organization in Asia. Headquartered in Hong Kong, and registered as a charity, they have a three part mission: improving sanitation and hygiene, advocating green living and waste reduction, and providing university leadership education. The organization is largely operated by university student volunteers.
As of September 2014, there are 16 Hilton Worldwide properties across Asia Pacific involved in soap recycling. Together they have collected more than 7,000 kg of used soap as of September 2014, and – with the support of committed, like-minded partners – created more than 175,000 new soap bars, which are delivered to vulnerable communities in the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, and other countries across Asia.
Travel with Purpose is Hilton Worldwide's corporate responsibility commitment to providing shared value to its business and communities in four areas – creating opportunities for individuals to reach their full potential; strengthening communities where Hilton Worldwide operates; celebrating cultures and the power of travel; and living sustainably through the measurement, analysis and improvement of the company's use of natural resources.
Visit cr.hiltonworldwide.com or www.soapcycling.org for more information. See our ITP presents article on International Tourism Partnership member soap recycling efforts here.