by - December 14, 2018

While most hotel soaps – used once or twice – usually end up in landfills, Sunway Hotels & Resorts has now found a more sustainable way to repurpose used soaps to help communities in need.

The hospitality group, today, presented 1,000 bars of repurposed soap to Pertubuhan Kebajikan Anak Yatim Darul Ehsan Malaysia (PKAYDEM), under Yayasan Islam Darul Ehsan (YIDE), to kick-start the home’s social enterprise project. The Soapful project is a collaboration with various project partners – Ecolab Sdn Bhd, Kinder Soaps Sdn Bhd and the Selangor Youth Community (SAY).

The repurposed soaps were made from some 100 kgs of leftover soaps from Sunway Hotels & Resort’s located in Sunway City – Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, Sunway Pyramid Hotel and Sunway Clio Hotel, which were collected since July this year. In 2019, this project will include the other five (5) hotels nationwide namely Sunway Putra Hotel, Sunway Velocity Hotel, Sunway Hotel Georgetown, Sunway Hotel Seberang Jaya and The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat.

Ecolab will facilitate the collection of used soap bars from the hotels, which are then delivered to Kinder Soaps’ processing lab to be repurposed into new bars of soap, following stringent standard operating procedures that adhere to safety and environment standards. Kinder Soaps will also be teaching and guiding selected homes on the processes of repurposing used soaps. At the end of the one-year project, the aim is for the home to be able to produce their own repurposed soaps for personal use and to be sold as part of their social enterprise programmes at charity sales, community markets and other social platforms.

Sunway Hotels & Resorts will then be working with a new beneficiary selected by SAY. SAY is a long-term partner in this project who will continue to identify the subsequent beneficiaries of this project based on its capacity and to be included as part of their social enterprise programme.

Sunway Hotels & Resorts’ Regional Senior General Manager, Kelly Leong, explained that the Sunway Hotels & Resorts’ #SunwayForGood #SunwaySoapful project was conceptualised to deliver benefits to the environment, society, and the economy in alignment with the hospitality group’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which aims to drive sustainable progress that leaves no one behind.

“Firstly, the project intends to benefit the environment by removing soap waste from the landfills. Secondly, it helps the home reduce cost as the repurposed soap bars are also meant for their personal use. Thirdly, it helps the children cultivate meaningful business skills that will help them break the cycle of poverty. And fourthly, it is our hope that besides utilising the income for their daily needs the children will use these life skills to start their own business and pursue social mobility, or even employ other youths in the future,” he said.

He explained that the Hotel had readily repurposed the 1,000 bars of soap to kick-start the social enterprise. “For the next phase of the project, we will continue to collect used soaps from across our hotels in raw form to be delivered straight to the home. We are targeting to collect 720kgs of soap each year, which can be repurposed into 7,200 bars of 100g soaps to sustain the social enterprise project.”

Royal Patron of SAY, DYTM Raja Muda Selangor Tengku Amir Shah Ibni Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj, who graced the event today, said SAY selected PKAYDEM as the first beneficiary orphanage for the project as it is one of the orphanages that is most in need of help in the state of Selangor.

“To deliver long-term impact, it is important that we teach our children and youth how to fish and cultivate independence. SAY will be helping the children set-up their social enterprise in line with its vision to empower children by facilitating capacity building. We will help the children set-up a business structure, obtain space to sell the soaps, as well as determine pricing and market the products.”

To prepare the children for the second phase of the programme, Ecolab demonstrated the proper hand washing procedures during the event, which is an important step before starting the soap making process to ensure no bacteria is passed on, making it safe for personal use. Kinder Soaps Founder, Michelle Ho, then taught PKAYDEM’s children the five-step soap repurposing process in stations set within the Hotel. The five-step process involves grating, mashing, melting, molding, cutting and packaging.

Previously, Sunway Hotels & Resorts’ had implemented the #SunwayForGood #ZeroFoodWastage programme which saw the group of hotels collecting surplus food daily from its food and beverage establishments to feed the urban poor. The ongoing project is anticipated to serve 17,657 individuals from the B40 groups this year.

The community programmes are in line with Sunway’s pledge to create a positive and far-reaching impact on the nation under the banner of #SunwayForGood, aligned with Sunway’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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