Repurposing to Make a Difference
Yayasan Islam Darul Ehsan (YIDE)’s social enterprise project was kick-started with the presentation of 1,000 bars of repurposed soap by Sunway’s hotel division.
The Soapful project is a collaboration with Ecolab Sdn Bhd, Kinder Soaps Sdn Bhd and the Selangor Youth Community (SAY) with His Highness, Tengku Amir Shah gracing the launch event.
The project intends to help in removing soap waste from landfills, reduce cost of the orphanage home, and cultivate meaningful business skills.
More than two million bars of partially used hotel soaps are disposed every day in the United States alone, according to Clean The World. Now imagine that number globally.
While most hotel soaps, used once or twice, usually end up in landfills, Sunway has found a more sustainable way to repurpose used soaps – helping underprivileged communities.
Sunway’s hotel division presented 1,000 bars of repurposed soap to the Pertubuhan Kebajikan Anak Yatim Darul Ehsan Malaysia (PKAYDEM), under Yayasan Islam Darul Ehsan (YIDE), to kick-start the orphanage’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, which were collected since last July from Sunway hotels located in Sunway City – Sunway Resort Hotel, Sunway Pyramid Hotel and Sunway Lagoon Hotel. The project will include other five Sunway hotels nationwide in the future.
Kelly Leong, Sunway Hotels & Resorts’ regional senior general manager, emphasized the project aims to benefit the environment, society, and the economy in alignment with the hospitality group’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
“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,” he said. “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.”
For the next phase of the project, Sunway Hotels will continue to collect used soaps in its raw form. They are targeting to collect 720kgs of soap each year, repurposed into 7,200 bars of 100g soaps to sustain the social enterprise project.
Ecolab demonstrated the proper hand washing procedures during the event, an important step before starting the soap making process to ensure no bacteria is passed on, making it safe for personal use.
Michelle Ho, Kinder Soaps founder, taught the children the five-step soap repurposing process in stations set within the Hotel. The five-step process involved grating, mashing, melting, moulding, cutting and packaging. “Can you imagine, 100 kilos of perfectly good hotel soap – if nobody reclaims, it’s just going to landfills,” she said, a specialist in hand crafting soap bars, who started making soaps to help relieve her newborn’s eczema problems.
Previously, the hospitality division 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. So far, the ongoing project served around 17,657 individuals from the B40 groups.
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.
This article first appeared in Berita Sunway Issue 64