Melbourne’s Recycled Soap Is Saving Lives In India



We’ve all done it. Ripped open a packet of soap in a hotel bathroom only to use it a couple of times before checking out and heading home.

Few would ever wonder what happens to that barely used bar. Fact is, it ends up in landfill. Millions of tonnes of “waste soap” a year is generated by the hotel industry worldwide. But not for much longer, if the Melbourne-based not-for-profit group Soap Aid gets its way.

In the last five months alone Soap Aid has collected more than a tonne of used soap from the city’s hotels. Once this is broken down and made into fresh bars at a purpose built factory in Braeside, the soap is ready to go global.

The first soap shipment of 140,000 bars is due to arrive in Patna in the north-east Indian state of Bihar in March. The bars will be distributed to 2000 disadvantaged families by the local Rotary group.

“It’s the ultimate trash-to-treasure story,” said Soap Aid chief executive Michael Matulick. “We’re repurposing this trash from one part of the world and making it into a reusable commodity that can save lives.”

The reconditioned 100-gram bars carry with them a vital health message – highlighted most recently by the hepatitis A outbreak linked to contaminated frozen berries.

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After years of research and a series of unpleasant experiences concerning the current child protection services system, Alec Cope decided to combat the cancerous corruption through information. Freelance writing articles as a form of protest and distributing them throughout his former high-school and local area, Alec struck special chords with whomever he was in contact with.

Alec has been involved in activism such as sit down protests as well as Idle No More gatherings. Being independent for the majority of his time, Alec became a member of the WeAreChange family to assist one of the organizations that inspired him to become active in the first place. With a larger platform and positive support Alec has committed the majority of his time to research, writing, and maintaining social media with the goal to continue expanding the awakening sweeping throughout all levels of society.

Growing up within a rural area in Northern Michigan as well as being a native American descendant, Alec is seeking to expose environmental abuse in his state as well as globally. A high-school dropout, Alec chases his passion for writing and empowering individuals while showing any isolated person that they too can overcome the odds with a community that will support them. Alec lives in the lower peninsula of Michigan near Kalamazoo.

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