Soap Aid collects and reprocesses hotel waste soap redirecting it from Australian and New Zealand landfills to communities around the world without access to adequate sanitation. Almost one and a half million children under the age of five die each year due to preventable childhood infectious diseases which hand washing with soap can significantly reduce. ‘Working with community impact partners we’ve sent more than 830,000 bars of recycled soap to targeted communities in Western Australia, Fiji, Cambodia, Somalia, Uganda, Zambia, Philippines, PNG, Vanuatu, India and Indonesia,’ says Soap Aid CEO Mike Matulick.
While Scenic Hotel Group works on numerous environmental and community initiatives at a local level, executive chair, Lani Hagaman says the opportunity to do something so simple to make a difference on a global scale was something the hotel group could not pass up. Hotels simply fill a pallet with unused or partially used soap and then, with the generosity of local and national transport and logistics partners, it is moved to the Soap Aid headquarters in Melbourne. Teams of volunteers undertake the process of repurposing the soaps where it is sorted, ground down, heat treated and pressurised into long bars before it is chopped, stamped with Soap Aid and delivered to needy communities.