Goumbook, a social enterprise dedicated to promoting sustainable living, has recently launched a new campaign called Unisoap UAE in an effort to combat hotel waste. The campaign, which is a collaboration with the France-based non-profit company Unisoap, aims to promote hygiene in vulnerable communities and increase employability in the waste sector while reducing hotel waste.
According to Tatiana Antonelli Abella, the Managing Director and Founder of Goumbook, waste reduction is the first message they always convey. They aim to look at waste as a resource that can be converted into something valuable. They have done similar campaigns in the past, such as converting a cigarette box into construction material. In this case, they aim to address the waste generated by hotels, particularly the partially used and discarded soap bars.
Dubai is a popular tourist destination with hundreds of hotels that consume a large amount of amenities, including soap. Millions of soap bars end up in landfills worldwide every year. Unisoap UAE aims to address this issue by collecting used soaps from hotels, keeping them together to preserve their fragrances and properties, melting them, and then forming them into new soap bars. The new soap bars will then be distributed locally to communities in need, sold to families at a subsidized cost, and sent to different charities. They also plan to partner with humanitarian organizations to send soaps to refugee camps.
One of the primary goals of the Unisoap UAE campaign is to raise awareness about the importance of washing hands. Lack of knowledge on basic sanitation has led to millions of deaths worldwide. By promoting hygiene in vulnerable communities, Unisoap UAE hopes to have a social impact and raise awareness about the importance of hygiene.
The campaign has received positive responses, with several hotels signing the letter of intent to participate. One hotel has already provided soap bars, which are currently being transformed into new soap bars. With the operating unit located in Dubai Silicon Oasis, Unisoap UAE plans to involve a minimum of ten hotels in the first year, each with an average of 500 rooms.
The Unisoap UAE initiative aligns with Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism’s (DET) 19 Sustainability Requirements for hotels, which are focused on promoting green practices throughout the hospitality industry. Senior officials from DET have praised the efforts of local companies like Goumbook in developing the UAE as a sustainable travel destination. DET is committed to ensuring sustainability in the tourism sector by working with communities and engaging residents in protecting the environment, partnering with hotels to promote sustainable practices, highlighting Dubai’s natural beauty and biodiversity, and creating more opportunities for people to use public transportation.
Summary of article by: Nandini Sircar, Khaleej Times
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