What's the best part about staying in a hotel? The abundance of free items you can take, of course! But have you ever wondered what happens to the partially used soap you leave behind at the end of your stay? Well, not all of it ends up in the dumpster—in fact, at least some of it is put to a much more practical and heartwarming use!
Little do many people know that a portion of the hotel soap they leave behind is given to Clean the World, an Orlando-based company that recycles the partially used soap to make new soap. Their tactic not only aids the environment by reducing waste in the landfill, but it also helps support local communities: All the new soap is distributed to areas of need.
Even hotels are doing their part to back the amazing cause. According to Thrillist, hotels pay Clean the World 50 cents per room, per month to take their unused soap. And they're even going one step further, giving cosmetic companies like Unilever their rejected soap bars. Once the old soap arrives in one of Clean the World's warehouses across the globe, the soap is then melted down and restructured into new bars. The end products are then distributed to charities like the Red Cross and NGO non-profits around the world.
Clean the World gives a whole new meaning to the idea that great things come in small packages. In 2016 alone, they made more than seven million soaps and 400,000 hygiene kits; and of the bars of soap, 500,000 went to help those affected by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti and the Bahamas.
In addition to traditional soap, the company also works with half-used shampoo, body wash, and conditioner bottles. To qualify for the process, bottles must be at least 3/4 of the way full (emptier bottles are still recycled, though). Once they pass the examination, the bottles are then placed in the aforementioned hygiene packages—which also include toothbrushes, toothpaste, and hand sanitizer —and are then sent out to homeless shelters across the world.
So the next time you're about to nab those mini bottles of soap on your way out of the hotel, you may want to reconsider; you could actually be doing a great service by leaving them right where they are.