What This Man Is Doing With Discarded Hotel Soaps Is Changing The World

Shawn Seipler used to work for a tech company that required lots of travel. He spent half his year in hotels until one evening, everything changed. He was washing up when he started to wonder what happens to all the unused soap. Shawn asked housekeeping to ease his curiosity. What he learned started him on a journey that would change not only his life but the entire world.

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He was informed that all the soap is thrown away at the end of the day (even the soap still packaged.) Deep down, Shawn could not justify such a waste, so he crafted the perfect solution.

After much research, he founded Clean The World, a company that partners with hotels by charging 50 cents per room each month for soap recycling services, which in turn, recycles and sends those products to children who die of illnesses that a bar of soap can prevent. Most of the children that Clean The World has reached have never seen a bar of soap in their lives.

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In the United States, hotels discard two million bars of soap each day. Since Clean The World was established in 2009, 5,000 hotels have chosen to partner, but that’s only 20% of all hotels in the U.S.

“There’s a lot of room to grow,” said Shawn. Some hotels are also donating body washes, shampoos, and conditioners for recycling. The only requirement for those products is that they be three-quarters full when received. The bins, the training, and the delivery system are all set in place by the Clean The World crew. Housekeeping simply has to place the unused or lightly used products in their given bins and a Clean The World truck transports it all to the closest processing plant.

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Clean The World has its home base in Orlando, Florida, but has plants in places such as Hong Kong, London, Canada, and throughout the United States. After the soap arrives at one of the factories, it’s melted, rebatched, and then packaged to be distributed to where there is a need. Since its start, Clean The World has distributed 40 million bars to 115 countries.

The children receiving the soap understand the gift they’ve been given. They treat their bars as prized possessions. Thousands of children die each day simply because they don’t have the means to maintain good hygiene. Thanks to Clean The World, those lives can be and are being saved.

“Research shows us that up to 65% of the 9,000 lives we lose daily, can be saved by these bars of soap,” Shawn explains in his promotion video.

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“Even here among us, we have the homeless who need hygiene products. These products that the rest of us throw away, can save the lives of others,” said Shawn. “We are leading a global hygiene revolution and we’re committed to saving a million lives each year.” In his call for support, Shawn challenges us all: “It’s so simple. We can change history.”

Click here to learn more about the mission of Clean The World and its impact around the globe.