Sustainable Travel: Celebrating Hilton’s Soap Recycling Initiative Around the World

On Global Handwashing Day, October 15th, Hilton announced a substantial expansion to its soap recycling program in 2020. Next year, more than 5,300 Hilton hotels in 70 countries will recycle soap from their properties in conjunction with NGOs like Clean the World to distribute to communities in need. Currently, soap from Hilton properties has been recycled into more than 10.2 million new bars of soap and placed in the hands of people in more than 127 countries. Thank you to Hilton for partnering with us on this post.

We live in a time where we have to be more aware of the collective impact that we have on the environment and the world around us. For my family, that means, going beyond our standard home recycling, bringing our own bags, walking when possible, and significantly reducing our use of plastics – to regularly joining in compost drop-offs, textile recycling, shopping with intention and aligning our purchases with companies and brands that are making a difference in this world. We can always do better. We can always do more. I thank my seventh-grader (who happens to attend a school rooted in sustainability) for encouraging our family to examine and implement ways in which we can improve. As parents, our children often lead the way.

Like many mothers, I hold the purchasing power in our household the majority of the time. It’s my job to learn about companies committed to reducing their environmental impact while making a substantial difference in underserved communities.

Exploring with my babies. Antioquia, Colombia 2019

I recently learned about Hilton’s Travel With Purpose program and goals at an event at Hudson Yards in New York City on Global Handwashing Day. Hilton presented “The World’s Most Valuable Collection at the Soap Museum” to shed a bright light on the crucial role that soap plays in reducing the risk of hygiene-related illnesses and hygiene-related deaths in children under the age of five around the world. The installation displayed three-dimensional hand-carved soap sculptures of valuable items (designer shoes, bars of gold and more) illustrating the true value of soap as a life-saving resource and necessity that is often taken for granted. All of the showcased soap sculptures were crafted by carving designer, Daniele Barresi. He even provided a live soap carving at the event – a truly magnificent art to observe!


In the past decade, Hilton has done so much to keep millions of pounds of soap (from their properties) out of landfills by recycling them into new soap bars for life-saving hygiene kits alongside partners like Clean the World. Hilton’s soap-recycling program (the largest in the hospitality industry) is a component of the company’s sustainability commitment – redefining sustainable travel through their Travel with Purpose program. Hilton has committed to cutting its environmental footprint in half while doubling its social impact investment by 2030.

It’s incredible to think of leftover soap in a hotel room recycled into a life-saving vehicle for communities where completely preventable hygiene-related illnesses in children can be halted by access to soap. Indeed a valuable lesson to bring home.



  1. I always did wonder what happened to the old soap bars left in hotel rooms. I try and always take them with me if ive used it,

  2. Wow! I always wondered what happens to those soaps. This is pretty interesting.

  3. Kelly Martin says

    This is such a great initiative. It would be good if all hotels recycled their soap or used refillable liquid soap dispensers.

  4. i had no idea you could recycle soap! how very interesting. bravo hilton.

  5. I felt bad about leaving leftover soaps in the hotel because they would eventually go to the bin. Hilton’s cycling programme is doing great work in recycling leftover soaps.

  6. I love that they have a recycling program for their soaps! Helping people while also keeping things out of landfills is a win win!

  7. Kristine Nicole Alessandra says

    This is a good initiative. It makes me sad that some children are lacking the basic necessities to practice hygiene. Hilton hotels’ campaign is a really commendable one. I will help spread the word and I know lots of Hilton hotels patrons will be glad they choose to stay in their hotels.

  8. Wow! That is a great initiative from Hilton hotels! It’s really for a good cause! I hope other hotels do this as well.

  9. wow. this is really amazing! i never thought about this one before…. this must be spread to everyone…

  10. I love the concept of this! I never thought about what they did with leftover soap but this is such a great idea! Way to go Hilton!!

  11. That is a great initiative. That’s how we can make traveling easy and save some buckets too.

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