Sealed Air Corporation has launched the initiative 'Soap for Hope™', in association with Doctors for You, an NGO in Mumbai. Sealed Air aims to recycle used hotel soaps into fresh soap for distribution to local communities. In Mumbai, the joint workshop held by Sealed Air and Doctors For You provided a step-by-step demonstration of the soap-recycling process.
The soap that will be distributed to slum dwellers and lower middle class families aims to promote hand-washing as an effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and respiratory diseases in developing countries.
Sealed Air has launched and implemented this program in 62 cities and 27 countries with 249 partner hotels. Donors have come forward in India with soap and participation for skill training efforts.
Typically, a 400-room hotel generates 3.5 metric tonnes of solid soap waste per annum. Hence, this initiaitive can provide soaps to 2,000 people annually and save 1.5 million lives through proper hand hygiene.
"Soap for Hope is a real example of creating shared value for all parties involved - our customers, the NGOs, the local communities and Sealed Air employees. Every party plays a critical role and has embraced the Soap for Hope program enthusiastically," said Himanshu Jain, MD and VP, Indian Subcontinent and South East Asia.
"Having received the Asian CSR award for this initiative, we intend to reach out to more communities and create an impactful living by touching 25,000 lives by end of this year and create this as a movement rather than a one - off initiative", he further added.
Dr Rajat Jain, Vice President, Doctors For You said, "We want awareness for hygiene to go up. This integrated approach will lead to a livelihood for local communities. We have started this initiative in areas like Govandi, Mankhund, Tatanagar and Deonar to start with in Mumbai. We plan to extend this initiative to other slum areas and take it to cities like Jaipur, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and various others. The aim of this initiative is not only to distribute soaps, but also provide employment opportunities to men and women both at the village level."
"The immunization rate has gone up considerably with the soap distribution and it can reduce diarrhea and various other diseases by 70%. It is quite alarming to know that urban slums are more prone to diseases than rural areas," Dr Naresh Gill, Head, Mumbai Operations elaborated during the event.
To date, in 27 countries in South East Asia and Africa, 752 tons of used soap has been recycled into 6.2 million bars of soap. Every year, about 400,000 people in local communities benefit from this program.
Once the used soaps are collected from hotels, Sealed Air transports it to the local community and teaches the local people to recycle soap using an innovative cold-press method which requires no electricity. The entire process takes less than 10 minutes to recycle into fresh bars of soap.