Hilton expands soap recycling efforts to mark Global Handwashing Day

Hilton expands soap recycling program, totaling 5300 properties in more than 70 countries.

To mark Global Handwashing Day, Hilton has announced the expansion of its soap recycling program, totaling 5300 properties in more than 70 countries and territories around the globe.

Global Handwashing Day, a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing as an effective way to prevent disease, is taking place on Tuesday, October 15.

Hilton’s soap recycling program is in conjunction with Clean the World and other soap recycling partners, discarded soap is crushed, sanitised and cut into new soap bars. The new soap bar is used in hygiene kits, which Clean the World provides to those in need.

The initiative also contributes to reducing Hilton’s overall environmental impact, which the company has set a goal to cut in half by 2030.

Hilton also announced the successful completion of its 2019 Clean the World Challenge to collect enough soap by Global Handwashing Day to be sterilised and recycled into 2 million new bars of soap for communities in need.

Katie Fallon, Hilton’s global head of corporate affairs, said: “In a world where too many children die of hygiene-related illnesses, Hilton and its soap recycling partners are turning guest room waste into life-saving treasure

“We are now expanding our industry-leading, global soap recycling program to all of our brands as part of our commitment to send zero soap to landfill.”

During the last 10 years, Hilton properties have diverted 4 million pounds of waste from landfills.

Hilton has a network of soap recycling partners around the world that support these efforts, the largest of which is Clean the World.

Through these partnerships, Hilton hotels have contributed to the donation of more than 11 million new bars of recycled soap to communities in need.

Global adoption 

In 2016, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton’s 750 hotels were the first in the industry to make soap recycling a brand requirement. In January of 2019, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton joined the initiative.

Hilton is expanding its commitment by making this a brand standard effective January 1, 2020 for Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, LXR Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Signia Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Motto by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. Tru by Hilton uses bulk amenities.

The new brand standards, which will be applicable across the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the Dominican Republic, United Kingdom and Continental Europe, will significantly expand Hilton’s impact, as well as its partnership with Clean the World.

Hilton’s soap recycling efforts in Europe will be supported by a new Clean the World facility which opened in Amsterdam last year.

In addition, Hilton will continue its existing strong soap recycling partnerships in its Asia Pacific region, working with partners including Diversey’s Soap for Hope, Soap Aid, Soap Cycling, and Sundara India.

Art exhibition to raise awareness 

To bring awareness to the vital role soap plays in reducing the risk of hygiene-related illnesses, Hilton is also opening the doors to an art exhibit in New York City. Open to the public on Global Handwashing Day (October 15), “The World’s Most Valuable Collection at the Soap Museum” showcases 10, 18-inch sculptures carved from soap by world champion carving artist Daniele Barresi.

The sculptures all depict items that are typically regarded as having significant value to illustrate and make the connection to the true value of soap as a life-saving resource that is often taken for granted.

During the interactive experience, which will be open through October 16, attendees will also learn about the importance of handwashing and soap recycling, and how everyone can help fight the epidemic of preventable hygiene-related illnesses.

The experience will continue internationally when it makes its way to London as well as the Asia Pacific region. All the materials used for the museum will be recycled upon closing.

Starting October 15, the education will continue on the Hilton Online Newsroom and social media channels where visitors and followers can track the “Journey of a Bar of Soap,” and watch episodes of the Clean the World Soap Opera video series, which highlights the impact soap recycling has had domestically, internationally, on Hilton team members, and much more.

Industry urged to promote Global Handwashing Day

Global Handwashing Day was founded by the Global Handwashing Partnership, an international coalition of organisations working to promote handwashing with soap.

Handwashing with soap is a simple and effective way to prevent diseases and ensure overall health. In 2018, more than 570 million people promoted the simple, life-saving act of handwashing with soap on Global Handwashing Day.

This year’s Global Handwashing Day theme, “Clean Hands for All,” follows the year-long push to leave no one behind in the Sustainable Development agenda.

Handwashing with soap is a simple, yet often neglected act. Inequalities in access to proper handwashing facilities and behavior change programs can put individuals at higher risk for diseases that impact their health, education, and economic outcomes.

To achieve handwashing equity, this year’s Global Handwashing Day emphasises the need to look to those often left behind and actively work to ensure inclusivity in handwashing efforts moving forward.

Globally, only 60 per cent of the world’s population has access to a basic handwashing facility. Among vulnerable groups, handwashing is a greater challenge.

In conflict-affected settings, children under five years of age are 20 times more likely to die of diarrhea than violence. Handwashing with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrhea in these settings by nearly half.

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