Hilton's Used Soap Will be Recycled into New Bars

This is part of the hotel chain's commitment to cut its environmental footprint in half by 2030.

Apr 14, 2019

When you check out of a hotel and leave the partially used soaps behind, did you ever think of what happens to them? Hilton has and they have a plan to put them to good use.

The World Health Organization  (WHO) estimates that 2 million partially used bars of soap are thrown away every day in the US. Soap that could be used by people who have no access to soap and could be used to save the lives of millions of children globally.

That's why Hilton announced last month that it will be collecting the leftover soaps in guest rooms and recycle them into 1 million new bars by Global hand Washing Day on October 15. Hilton is partnering with Clean the World Foundation, a global health organization that the chain has worked with before on other projects.

Hilton has already donated 7.6 million bars of recycled soap over the last 10 years according to CNN Business, but the new initiative is a big expansion and the company plans to send absolutely zero soap to landfills by 2030.

This is part of a larger initiative to cut the chains environmental footprint in half and to double its social impact investment by 2030 according to a company press release. The company also plans on doubling the amount it spends with local and minority owned suppliers. All of these goals are part of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility strategy to further the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

While doing good should be motive enough, the company conducted a survey in May 2018 asking 72,000 Hilton guests if they researched a hotel's environmental and social efforts when they made their choice in where to stay. The survey showed that 44 percent of travelers under the age of 25 actively research this information and that 36 percent of vacationers and 29 percent of business clients seek this information. Doing good is obviously good for business.

“For nearly 100 years, Hilton has been driven by our mission to have a positive impact on the communities surrounding our hotels,” Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton, and chairman, World Travel & Tourism Council said in the press release. “In this Golden Age of Travel, we are taking a leadership role to ensure that the destinations where travelers work, relax, learn and explore are vibrant and resilient for generations of adventurers yet to come.”

Hilton is already known as an environmental leader in the hotel industry having reduced carbon emissions and waste by 30 percent and energy and water consumption by 20 percent since 2008. But the new initiative is even more demanding. The environmental impact of the hotels is calculated by Lightstay, a performance measurement system, to track the progress of the new goals.

“Companies play an integral role in solving our climate crisis,” said Sheila Bonini, senior vice president, Private Sector Engagement, World Wildlife Fund in the press release. “By committing to significant intensity emissions reductions based on science, Hilton is setting in motion a plan that will have ripple effects across the hospitality industry while providing more sustainable options for travelers.

Recycling soap is only a small step in a giant-sized global issue, but small steps add up. So, the next time you plan a vacation, find out what the corporate commitments are to recycling plastics and soap and do your part in not wasting the soap and toiletries that are provided. Use one bar or one plastic bottle and take the unused portion with you to finish and recycle.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.

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