Within the project "Responsible Business – Clean World", a soap recycling plant that employs and educates people with disabilities was opened in Solin, reports Večernji List on March 24, 2016.
This EU project is an innovative model of a circular economy, social entrepreneurship and public-private partnership, and it increases the employability of people with disabilities in the open labour market and eliminates waste generated by the hotel sector. The newly opened small plant that recycles soaps from hotels is a special kind of work centre educating people with disabilities how to recycle soap and launch new products on the market.
The project is led by the Network of Associations of Disabled Persons of Dalmatia, and the idea arose from the hoteliers’ need to keep in step with trends in the introduction of green business in order to become more competitive, and also from the need to reduce the unemployment rate, especially among those less educated and hard-to-employ social groups, which include people with disabilities.
In addition, the project disposes of the waste generated in hotels and in the hotel business, thus responding to the global challenge to preserve the environment. The budget for "Responsible Business – Clean World" project amounts to 188,865 euros and is co-financed from the European Social Fund, through programmes Human Resources Development and Improving Access to the Labour Market for People with Disabilities, coordinated by the Croatian Employment Service. The EU co-finances nearly 70 percent of the project.
During the project, experts from the Faculty of Chemical Technology in Split conducted a study on the environmentally friendly methods of recycling, while the visual identity of the new products has been jointly created by students and professors from the School of Design of the Art Academy in Split. The final products will be placed on the market after the implementation of the project, ensuring the sustainability of both the project and the newly established work centre. In the course of the project, 46 persons will go through the training for recycling, packaging, and marketing of the soaps.