When we check out from a hotel, we normally leave the toiletries behind, most especially the soap. Even if you used it only once, it would never cross your mind to bring it. But did it cross your mind as to where these used soaps go afterward? Well, it didn’t just cross Shawn Seipler’s mind, it stayed there.
Shawn Seipler was once checked-in in a hotel at Minneapolis sometime 2008 when he asked the hotel staff the ultimate question.
“I called down the front desk and asked what they did with all the leftover soap”. Seipler said. He was answered bluntly, “They said they threw it away.” Instantly, it was a light bulb for Seipler.
He immediately started doing his research on how to recycle used soaps and where he could probably use it. Even without proper sources, just the thought of it suggests that used soaps from hotels seem quite a big number. So Seipler started to think on a macro level.
According to a CNN article, Seipler referred to World Health Organization’s statistics on the mortality of children as his inspiration for his advocacy. The data showed that the most leading cause of death to children under 5 is diarrhea. And the main cause of diarrhea is poor hygiene. Seipler believes that a simple act of handing out soaps to poor families will save a lot of lives.
“Next time you know, I and the Puerto Rican half of the family were sitting on upside-down pickle buckets in a garage in Orlando with vegetable peelers, cooking soap,” he told CNN.
Thus, he founded the Orlando-based company called “Clean the World”. This charitable organization is focused on recycling used soap from hotels and distributing them to those less fortunate children around the world who are clearly in need of better hygiene.
Eventually, Seipler established connections with hotel owners in Orlando, Las Vegas, Montreal, India, and Hongkong. With such noble cause, they gladly oblige to sell Seipler the used soaps for a minimal cost of 50 cents monthly per room. They are further looking to hook up with more hotels across the world.
“There’s a whole world of hotels out there we can get to start donating. Right now we’ve got 20 percent of all hotels in the US. That’s a lot of room to grow, and a lot of soap to make.” Seipler told Thrillist.
Clean the World didn’t stop at soaps. Shortly after their mission started, the company extended their venture to used shampoo, conditioner and body wash.
The process of soap and toiletry recycling isn’t simply repacking and reshaping; it is an intricate process which is very keen to sterilization. So, the finished products are simply as good as new.
Clean the World started operating way back 2009. Since then, the company distributed 40 million bars of soap to 115 countries.
We hope the company will continue its mission indefinitely. By giving poor children access to proper hygiene, “Clean the World” may actually be able to change the world, one soap at a time.