Soap Aid New Soap Repurposing Plant official opening

On the 3rd of November 2023, Soap Aid was proud to officially launch our new soap repurposing plant at Dandenong, thanks to a crucial grant from Sustainability Victoria.

Soap Aid also launched an important new partnership with The Bridge Inc. an amazing social purpose organisation with a mission to provide a wide range of services and support to people with disabilities, as well as people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Soap Aid’s new soap recycling plant is now operating at The Bridge Inc premises, with The Bridge supported employee workers involved in the soap recycling process, including soap sorting, packaging, logistics, and more.

The opening commenced with a moving Welcome to Country ceremony, conducted by Jaeden Williams, man of the Boonwurrung.  More than 45 attendees came to celebrate the opening and partnership launch and had the opportunity to learn how used guest soap bars from accommodation providers are turned into new life-saving soap bars. On the day of the event, they were welcomed by Soap Aid founder and director Michael Matulik and The Bridge CEO Mary-Jane Stolp.

Mike Matulick said, “We are thrilled to officially announce our wonderful partnership and venture between Soap Aid and The Bridge Inc. We look forward to furthering our commitment to the environment and broadening our life-saving mission with The Bridge.”

We were excited to have Matt Genever Interim CEO of Sustainability Victoria, officially launch and cut the ribbon of Soap Aid’s new soap repurposing plant!

We were honoured to have Lana Formosa, Mayor of Dandenong Council, in attendance at the event, and share some inspirational words with us.

Soap Aids wonderful community partners came to support us including, Bernadene Voss from Group Big Group Hug, Warren Chaplin from the Woollahra Group. The event also had the honour of being attended by Soap Aid’s accommodation partners including, Julian Crane from the Grand Hyatt Melbourne, Anthea Dimitrakopoulos from the Ascott Group, Danielle Schembri from Choice and Mark Geerlings from Crown Melbourne and the wonderful team from Soap Aid’s corporate Sponsor, Hunter Amenities.

The event also featured The Bridge Inc Board Director David Mallinson, General Manager – Employment Services David Kazkoff, Business Manager Wayne Broomhall, and Warehouse Supervisor Ali Mustafa.

Our wonderful Soap Aid team were there including Production Supervisor Charlie Honour, and The Bridge recycling team including Josh Brown, Eugenia, Sethu, Carol Bellew and Laura O’Leary.

The new recycling plant project was made possible due to the Recycling Communities Fund grant from the Victorian Government through Sustainability Victoria, for our “Soaping Our Way to a Circular Economy Project” last year. The funding helped Soap Aid relocate and reinvigorate Soap Aid’s soap repurposing centre at The Bridge Inc premises, and our Circular economy initiative, the Hotel to Hands Guest Soap Recycling Programme, after three challenging years of COVID.

Soap Aid is the only charity and Social Enterprise in Australia and New Zealand who undertakes the recycling of hard soap with Accommodation providers.

A big thanks to Iskhandar Razak, ABC television and Radio, Cam Lucadou-Wells and The Star Newsgroup and Jenny Littlewood, PR and Media Lead from Sustainability Victoria for her amazing support to promote our initiative.

Soap Aid looks forward to an exciting new era of partnership and development!

Soap Aid: Finalist in the 2023 Tidy Towns & Cities – Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria

Soap Aid has been named a finalist for the prestigious 2023 Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria Tidy Towns & Cities in the Community category.

The 41st Annual Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria’s Tidy Towns & Cities – Sustainability Awards acknowledge, celebrate, and promote environmental achievements and strong community spirit among diverse applicants, including community groups, educational institutions, businesses, not-for-profits, and councils across Victoria.

It is an honour to be recognized alongside so many other remarkable organizations and to be acknowledged for our incredible work with soap recycling within the travel industry through our Hotel To Hands Programme.

For more detailed information about Soap Aid as a finalist, please visit the KABV Tidy Town Awards website:

Soap Aid is a finalist in the Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2023

The finalists for the 2023 Premier’s Sustainability Awards have been revealed – and we are so excited to be named amongst these amazing changemakers!

We are a finalist for the Healthy and Fair Society – Industry Leader award for our project, “Soap Aid – Hotel to Hands Programme”.

Celebrating their 21st anniversary in 2023, the awards shine a spotlight on innovators and leaders in sustainability in Victoria.

36 finalists have been selected across each of the 6 categories:

  • Circular economy innovation
  • Future energy
  • Healthy and fair society
  • Sustainable places
  • Thriving environment
  • Waste and recycling solutions

A Community Champion and Industry Leader will be awarded for each of the categories, as well as a Premier’s Recognition Award winner and a Premier’s Regional Recognition Award winner. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 23 November in Melbourne.

The Premier’s Sustainability Awards are presented in by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian government and Premier of Victoria.

Environment Protection Authority (EPA), DEECA, Momentum Energy and Melbourne Water are sponsors of this year’s awards.

For more information, photos and profiles of all finalists, visit

Breaking the Cycle: Soap Aid’s Efforts to Reduce Trachoma in Indigenous Populations

Trachoma is an eye condition caused by infection with certain strains of the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, and repeated infections can cause scarring in the eye and blindness.

Trachoma disappeared from mainstream Australia 100 years ago, yet it still affects indigenous populations where it remains endemic in almost two-thirds of remote indigenous communities in Australia.

Soap Aid soap helps to reduce trachoma and other hygiene-related illnesses by providing soap to organisations that have access to these community facilities to promote good health and hygiene practices.

Regular and proper hand washing with soap is a simple yet effective way to prevent the spread of trachoma and other hygiene-related illnesses. The use of soap can help to break the cycle of transmission by removing the bacteria from hands and surfaces, reducing the likelihood of infection.

Soap Aid’s soap distribution in partnership with affected communities plays an important role in preventing the spread of trachoma by providing access to soap and promoting good hygiene practices within households and community facilities. By addressing the barriers to good hygiene, such as the cost of soap, Soap Aid is helping to improve the health and well-being of indigenous populations in remote areas and reduce the incidence of trachoma in Australia.

Embracing the Power of Hard Soap Bars for Your Accommodation

At Soap Aid, our unwavering commitment lies in saving the lives of children and adults in Australia and around the world while preserving the environment. We achieve this by advocating for the use of solid soap bars as the ultimate sustainable choice for your accommodation. Hard soap bars have a lower environmental impact than liquid soaps and offer superior health benefits and cost advantages. Let us delve into the numerous reasons why choosing hard soap for your establishment is a smart and ethical choice.

Environmental impact:

  • Reduced Carbon Footprint: Studies have shown that hard soap leaves a 25% smaller carbon footprint than liquid soap. Manufacturing liquid soap requires more chemical feedstocks and processing, resulting in approximately seven times more carbon emissions than bar soap production.
  • Reduced Use of Plastic: Hard soap uses less plastic packaging than liquid soap, and by using hard soap, you can reduce your plastic usage by 25%! Regardless of its application, liquid soap is always packaged in plastic bottles, meaning that even if these bottles are recycled, we still contribute significantly to our plastic waste cycles. Given Australia’s low plastic recycling rate of only 12%, using hard soap significantly reduces plastic waste.
  • Efficient Storage and Transportation: Hard soap is easier to store and transport, leading to fewer CO2 emissions. Bar soap can be efficiently packaged in stackable bars, while liquid soap often wastes space on shelves and in boxes. By opting for hard soap, you can reduce storage requirements and the amount of petrol needed for transportation.
  • Easy Recyclability: Hard soap bars are 100% recyclable and much easier to recycle than liquid. Liquid amenities require separate wastewater treatment and pose challenges in collection, storage, and transportation due to the variety of chemicals and substances involved. On the other hand, hard soap bars can be recycled efficiently, contributing to a more sustainable waste management system.
  • Water Conservation: Using hard soap promotes water conservation. Research has shown that people tend to use about 30% more water when washing their hands with liquid soap compared to bar soap. By encouraging the use of hard soap in your accommodation, you can help conserve water resources.

Hard soap bars provide better value for money:

  • Reduced Shipping Energy: Liquid soap is typically heavier than bar soap, resulting in increased energy requirements for shipping and logistics. Many businesses are transitioning to loose bars of soap to minimize waste and reduce costs associated with transportation.
  • Water Efficiency: The use of liquid soap by guests in paid accommodations is higher than that of hard soap. A study conducted by the Zurich Institute of Environmental Engineering revealed that washing hands with liquid soap requires over six times more product than using a single bar of soap. By providing hard soap to your guests, you can reduce consumption and save on costs.
  • Waste reduction: Research indicates that up to 95% of the plastic used in hotel rooms ends up in landfills, where it remains for hundreds of years. By choosing hard soap, you contribute to waste reduction and decrease garbage removal costs for your establishment. Additionally, using hard soap demonstrates your commitment to sustainable practices, enhancing your accountability to environmentally conscious guests.

Hard soap bars and your health:

  • Reduced Chemical Exposure: Hard soap uses fewer chemicals compared to liquid soap. Liquid soaps often require chemical preservatives like parabens and formaldehyde to prevent bacterial growth and maintain freshness.
  • Comparable Bacterial Safety: Liquid soap has been widely marketed as antibacterial since its introduction to the marketplace. However, a study conducted by the Dial Corporation in the early 1990s revealed that bacteria from a used bar of soap is not transferred to the skin, making it equally safe as liquid soap.

In addition to the numerous benefits mentioned above, one of the most compelling reasons for accommodation providers to choose hard soap bars is the potential to save lives through recycling. While hard soap is already a sustainable option from production to disposal, its impact can be extended even further. Instead of discarding leftover guest bars, they can be collected, processed into recycled bars, and distributed to communities in need, both within Australia and worldwide.

At Soap Aid, our Hotel to Hands Programme has played a pivotal role in recycling over 2.9 million bars of soap in the past few years. This initiative has had a significant impact on preventing diseases such as trachoma and pneumonia, ultimately leading to lives being saved. Remarkably, it is estimated that over 106,000 children’s lives have been preserved through this program alone.

By partnering with Soap Aid and adopting hard soap bars for your accommodation, you are making an environmentally responsible choice and actively participating in a life-saving cause.

Soap Aid’s continued partnership with the WA Country Health Service (WACHS)

Soap Aid is proud of our continued partnership with the WA Country Health Service (WACHS).

Our partnership with WACHS started in 2016, and 2023 marks 8 years that Soap Aid has been providing support to the WA Trachoma Control Program.

The WA Trachoma Control initiative aims to strengthen environmental health and health promotion across the Kimberley, Pilbara, Midwest, and Goldfield regions while building capacity in communities affected by trachoma. Soap Aid provides our brand-new recycled soap bars to all of these communities to help reduce the spread of preventable infectious diseases and to promote hygiene practices that reduce the risk of infection.

Trachoma, for example, is a bacterial infection that is spread through contact with the discharge from the eyes or nose of infected individuals. It is prevalent in many remote Indigenous communities and can cause long-term vision impairment and blindness if left untreated.

Soap Aid is supporting access to a basic hygiene resource that every single person should be able to access easily. In many remote communities in Australia, access to soap can be challenging. This can be due to a number of factors, including distance from urban centres, supply chain access and environmental conditions.

The provision of soap is crucial in helping to reduce the spread of preventable infectious diseases and improve the overall health and well-being of these communities.

So far, we have provided 1 million bars of soap to indigenous communities in Australia!