Recycling hotel soaps: a health, environmental and social issue for Unisoap

L’association Unisoap se consacre à la collecte des savonnettes usagées que les hôteliers mettent à la disposition de leurs clients. Elle en confie ensuite le recyclage à des jeunes en situation de handicap, avant de les redistribuer à des personnes dans le besoin.

Humanitarian & development

  • Location:

    Rhône-Alpes (France)

  • Sponsor:

    Philippe Imbert

  • Grant:

    €8,000 on 08/07/2020

Project owner


Founded in 2017, Unisoap's goal is to collect and recycle the soaps that hotels provide for their guests. Based in France, its activities are primarily humanitarian.

The reasoning behind its creation was twofold: a lack of access to basic hygiene products for 250,000 homeless people and three million inhabitants in France; and the considerable waste of hygiene products such as soap. It is estimated that 51 million bars of soap are thrown away each year in France by hotels. These two contradictory facts prompted Unisoap to address the issue.

Health, ecology, and solidarity: the Unisoap trio

Unisoap therefore strives to preserve the environment by limiting waste from hotels through recycling. It also takes a social stance by employing people with disabilities, thereby contributing to their integration into society.

From hotel soaps to new end users: a guided tour

Nearly 115 hotels in France, whether independent or members of large groups, supply soap for their guests. The used soaps are sent to a recycling centre, in an Esat* in the Lyon region, where young people with disabilities process them. The recycled soaps are then sent to partner associations. With a good knowledge of the field and the needs of beneficiaries, they take charge of distributing the soaps. Part of the production is kept aside and is used for hygiene education missions carried out by Unisoap, in schools and hospitals.


* Establishment and service of assistance through work (Etablissement et service d'aide par le travai), an Esat is a medical-social establishment whose goal is to promote the social and job integration of adults with disabilities.