Six years after creating the world’s first and only large-scale hotel soap recycling program, we are excited to announce that beginning today – Global Handwashing Day 2015 – Clean the World is now operating in Europe.
For the expansion into Europe, our plan was to follow the same formula that worked for us in North America and Asia. The launch needed to happen in cities with both a high density of hotel rooms and a focus on green operational practices. London and Paris were the natural choices. Our first two European hotel partners are the London Heathrow Marriott Hotel and Hilton Paris Opera. Discarded soap and bottled amenities from those hotels and others will be recycled to benefit European citizens who are at risk for hygiene-related illnesses.
European hotels have a strong sustainability focus and are looking for new ways to embrace corporate social responsibility. We have been receiving a steady stream of inquiries from hotels in the region over the past couple years. There is a high demand for recycling services, and we expect rapid adoption over the next 12 months.
The timing of this announcement is especially meaningful because today is Global Handwashing Day. It is an advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness about the importance of hand washing with soap. Beyond recycling discarded soap and bottled amenities from hotels, Clean the World’s mission includes educating people around the globe about the value of hand washing as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases. Global Handwashing Day is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times.
We continue to be amazed and humbled by how far Clean the World has come since starting to scrape discarded soap in a one-car garage back in 2009. Six years later, we have 4,000 hotel partners across three continents! Since 2009, Clean the World has distributed more than 30 million recycled soap bars and one million hygiene kits in the United States, Canada, and Asia, while diverting 4,000 metric tons of waste from landfills.
Now we have the opportunity to reduce the influx of waste to European landfills as well.