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Carnival Dream in Cozumel, Mexico.

Carnival Dream in Cozumel, Mexico. (Ellen Creager/Detroit Free Press/MCT)

Carnival Cruise Line stateroom attendants now have an extra duty - collecting your used soaps to give to people in developing countries.

The cruise line announced last week a new partnership with an Orlando, Fla.-based organization, Clean the World, that aims to collect, sanitize, melt down and reprocess nearly 40 tons of discarded soap each year.

It's one of two major conservation initiatives announced last week by the cruise line and its parent, Carnival Corp. & plc, about a month after subsidiary Princess Cruises was fined $20 million for routinely dumping food and plastic waste into the ocean off the Bahamas.

Carnival Corp. last week also unveiled a new initiative to significantly eliminate its purchase and consumption of non-essential single-use plastics by the end of 2021 across all nine global cruise line brands. The initiative is an expansion of its program, Operations Oceans Alive, an effort to "further its ongoing commitment to achieve and sustain environmental compliance and excellence."

That effort involves plans to reduce or eliminate plastic straws, cups, lids and bags, among other items, and to "potentially eliminate" individual servings of select packaged food items and other single-use plastics or decorative items used in food and beverage service as well as in staterooms, according to a statement by the company.

Single-use plastic items that cannot be eliminated include plastic trash can liners in common areas and sanitary gloves, the statement said.

The soap recovery program involves sending up to 3 million discarded soap bars to a Clean the World recycling center where they will be turned into new soap bars and distributed to people in need across the globe. The cruise line estimates 400,000 new clean bars of soap will be created each year.

The program has already been tested on several Carnival ships and will be rolled out across its entire North American fleet by the end of July, the company said.

The program will enable Clean the World to expand its existing recycling program to locations in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Bermuda and Central America, and increase existing efforts in the Dominican Republic.

Clean the World, a nonprofit and for-profit hybrid company, was formed in 2009 when CEO Shawn Seipler learned that the barely used soap in his Minneapolis hotel room would be thrown away. Today the company redistributes recycled soap and hygiene products from more than 8,000 hotel, resort and cruise companies to more than 127 countries, according to a news release about the partnership with Carnival.

Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com

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