Diversey and the Pebbles Project launched the Soap for Hope programme in Cape Town in March. South Africa is one of more than 50 countries globally benefitting from the programme initiated by Diversey in 2013. Through the recycling of discarded hotel guest soap, this programme not only supports local communities by offering livelihood opportunities but also contributes to mitigating infant mortality rates associated with insufficient access to proper sanitation conditions.

The Cape Town initiative was one of the seven awarded by Dow via its annual Business Impact Fund, which brings together NGOs, non-profit organisations and Dow customers to help solve global issues using Dow technology and employees’ expertise.

Through its extensive network of local farm operations, South African NGO the Pebbles Project launched the Soap for Hope programme in Cape Town setting the following goals:
• To divert 10,000 kg of soap bar waste annually away from landfills and incineration towards recycling.
• To distribute recycled soap bars to communities requiring hygiene resources and providing training on sanitation best practices.
• To train and empower young adults to manage the recycling operation as a small business.

“As a materials science company and supplier of raw materials that serve the cleaning market, Dow is proud to be a key collaborator of Soap for Hope that enables sustainable cleaning solutions whilst helping the local communities,” said Kevin Pillay, Dow’s country leader – Southern Africa.

“Soap for Hope is a programme that directly engages the local people in helping their own community. At the same time, it helps our hotel customers divert tons of solid soap waste [from] the local landfill. This will contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment in South Africa and create shared value for everyone involved – our company, our customers, and our communities,” added Mariette Van Vuuren, Sales Director, Diversey South Africa.

“The recycled soap will be made available to communities that do not have access to proper hygiene tools today,” said Sophie Warner, founder and CEO, Pebbles Project. “We will train unemployed young adults and women on entrepreneurship to upskill and empower them to run the recycling project as a small business.” Richard Bray, group operations manager at Premier Hotels and Resorts said that the Group is proud to partner with Dow, Diversey and The Pebbles Project for the Soap for Hope initiative, adding, “recycling and green initiatives along with building the communities in which we operate is extremely important to us. We are proud to join the Soap for Hope Project and look forward to helping this initiative take flight in making a difference in the local community.”

For more information visit: www.pebblesproject.org, www.diversey.com/en/diversey and www.dow.com