The Global Soap Project is a non-profit organization headquartered in Atlanta, GA with tax-exempt 501(c) 3 status that recovers and recycles soap from North American hotels that would otherwise end up in landfills. The soap is re-manufactured into new bars that are distributed, along with hygiene education, to vulnerable populations around the world such as refugees, orphans, and disaster victims.
Why not?! There are approximately 4.7 million hotel rooms in the United States that discard over 2 million partially used bars of soap every day! The number one cause of preventable death of children in Africa is unsanitary living conditions mostly due to lack of soap and potable water. For children under the age of five years, two of the leading causes of death are diarrhea and lower respiratory infections, many of which can be prevented with proper hygiene. Soap and clean water can reduce preventable deaths caused by diarrheal and upper respiratory diseases by over 40%.
The Global Soap Project is run by a team of dedicated professional staff and governed by a national board of directors. Sam Stephens took the helm as Executive Director in February 2012 and is in charge of leading the organization. To learn more about the entire leadership team, click here.
Yes! Soap is an antibacterial product whose sole purpose is to kill germs of any kind. Simply put, bacteria cannot grow on soap. GSP exercises extreme caution in sorting, cleaning, and processing soap to ensure its’ integrity. On top of that, we use an outside lab to confirm the safety of random samples of our reprocessed soap on a regular basis.
No, not at the moment. Our production process requires that we manufacture soap in large batches, and each batch can contain only one type of soap. Therefore soap in small quantities cannot be reprocessed.
Vulnerable populations without access to soap, including orphans, refugees, and disaster victims, are the targets of GSP’s efforts. Typically organizations proactively contact GSP and are then screened and vetted as appropriate recipients. We have shipped directly or through NGO’s to 28 countries throughout Africa, South America, Asia, and North America.
We work with respected partner organizations that have strong programs in the countries to which we send soap. These partners help us identify the populations that need soap and hygiene education, and then help distribute the soap to ensure 100% gets to those who need it most. Most importantly, they help conduct hygiene education to ensure the recipients understand how and why to use the soap on a regular basis, and conduct ongoing efforts to ensure the positive impact is sustained long-term.
Partners include the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Partners in Health, MedShare, AmeriCares, Salesian Missions, Aria International, Helping Hand for Relief and Development, and more.
Since 2009, we’ve distributed more than 1 million bars of soap in 29 countries around the world. Recipients include refugees, disaster victims, the homeless, and mothers and children living in extreme poverty. At the same time, we’ve diverted more than 250,000 pounds of discarded soap from landfills.
In 2012 alone, we distributed 500,000 new bars of soap — and we’re planning to distribute nearly 2 million new bars in 2013!
We would prefer that hotels collect and ship soap in their original boxes, to keep our footprint as small as possible. . If these are not available, larger copy-paper boxes with lids work well, although they will be heavy when filled. Most importantly, fill whatever box you do use to the top. Boxes that have empty space often collapse and break open in transit.
At the end of each year, or upon request, we will be happy to tell you how much soap you’ve sent. Just send us an email or give us a call if you’d like more information. In addition, we also encourage partner hotels to weigh the soap before each shipment and keep a tally of their own donations.
Thanks for your soap! If you are sending a large amount that requires a pallet, please email plant manager Eric Guthrie at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule delivery. Otherwise,please ship at your convenience to: 6901 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Suite D, Norcross, Georgia 30092.
At the moment, we do not pay for shipping soap from a donor hotel to the GSP warehouse. Donor hotels are encouraged to confirm whether or not their hotel or hotel brand has preferred shipping rates with carriers such as UPS or FedEx, which can mean significant savings. Shipping costs are tax-deductible, as is the in-kind value of the used soap.
Get started right away by posting information about your GSP participation on your hotel web site, Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Not only will it enhance the image of your hotel, but it will help GSP with growing awareness and, subsequently, financial or in-kind donations.
Certainly hotels are encouraged to promote their participation in GSP as part of the hotel’s sustainability efforts. This is a very big issue with meeting planners and corporate travel managers, and it often gives participating hotels a competitive edge.
GSP provides individual hotel listings on the GSP website; periodic newsletters sharing hotel stories and pictures of collection efforts or fundraising in your local community; education on hand-washing efforts in 3rdworld countries; friendly competitions between participating hotels; and even chances to work and travel with the GSP organization. GSP will acknowledge every Hotel’s valued donations with an annual certificate. Do you have ideas of your own to add to this list?! If so, send them to email@example.com.