Soaps and their Mileage for Sustainability
Sanitation has been a worldwide problem. According to the World Health Organization, there 2.3 billion people who do not have basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines, while around 842,000 people in the low- and middle-income countries die from lack of sanitation. Poor sanitation has brought diseases to the table, commonly transmitting diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. This means that sanitation is a must in order to live a longer life. On the other hand, there is too much soap waste being collected every year, taking India, for example, with 11.3 tonnes of soap waste collected from 17 hotels in the country. Fortunately, these issues have gotten the attention of sustainability leaders and are now making a move to spread sanitation and sustainability all around the world, such as Diversey, a player in the sanitation aspect of the Hospitality industry.
Himanshu Jain, President, APAC, Diversey, proved that soaps, even the thrown ones, are never useless. Explaining ‘Soap for Hope’ and how it came to be, Mr Jain said that since the company has been focusing on “educating and promoting cleanliness and hygiene in the communities”, they have witnessed even the simplest of sanitation can have an impact on the overall health of the person.
He said: “hospitality is one of the key sectors that we cater to. We observed that in the policies of housekeeping and maintenance, a lot of soaps get discarded in an unused or barely-used condition. This, not just adds up to the land-fill of waste created by the property, but also, an actual waste of the cleaning trait of the soap.”
“Soaps have a property of self-cleaning, which means, it cannot be contaminated completely. Functionally, every time the top layer of the soap is replaced, it’s again as good as new. We applied this simple logic to bridge the disparity between a luxury hotel and the slums, which both exist in the same reality, with this project called Soap For Hope,” Mr. Jain added.
‘Soap for Hope’ is a program that collects leftover soaps from hotels and delivers it to sites wherein local people reprocess it with through a cold press method and distributes the new soaps to local communities in need of proper sanitation. The program is said to have the capacity to provide soaps to 2,000 people per year; hence saving the lives of 1.5 million through the power of good hygiene.
Regarding the impact of touching the soap-variable to the issues that revolve around sanitation, hygiene, and diseases that come when neglected, Mr. Jain said the program is critical for it serves as the introduction of people towards their battle with communicable diseases caused by improper sanitation and hygiene.
“Soap For Hope is critical because introducing the cleaning agent in the day-to-day practice actually saves a lot by fighting the most prevalent and communicable diseases. To generalize, the hands of the kids are the vectors that carry germs into a household. And this is where we focus hugely in our campaigns. Diversey, as a company, has always looked at sustainability and technologies which can bring about a revolution towards cleaning and hygiene,” he explained.
“Climate change, growing competition for energy, stress on water supplies and managing waste are among the leading environmental challenges the world currently faces. Diversey believes that it must contribute to global solutions; and works to continuously enhance the efficiencies of its offices and manufacturing facilities around the world.”
Bankmer, 8th Floor, Building, 6756, Ayala Ave, Makati, 1226 Philippines
+63 2 8459458