Millions of bars of partially used hotel soap are thrown in the garbage every day and later end up in landfills.
But a non-governmental organization, Clean the World, is working to remedy this situation, collecting and recycling soap and plastic amenity bottles from participating hospitality partners and distributing them to children and families in countries with high death rates from pneumonia and cholera.
That social enterprise is the brainchild of Shawn Seipler, who realized the extent of this problem when as a sales representative for a technology company he would travel throughout the United States and sleep four nights a week in hotels.
During a stay at one of these establishments in Minneapolis in 2008, he inquired at the reception desk about what happened to the courtesy bars of soap provided to guests and learned that they are often discarded after a single use.
Determined to address this massive waste of resources, that 46-year-old native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, founded an organization that has distributed more than 68 million recycled bars of soap in 127 countries since 2009 and prevented more than 1,000 tons of soap and other hygiene products discarded by North American hotels from ending up in landfills.