Linens for Life collects and sends linens from hotels to locals, providing them training on how to recycle and make new products. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Linens for Life project, aiming to recycle used hotel linens and create livelihoods for the poor, was launched in Hanoi this month.

The project is run by Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP) and Sealed Air company.

“Linens for Life aims to provide a livelihood to local communities through creative conversions of used lines into items for sale,” said Stefan Phang, the project’s founder.

As Vietnam continues to grow, many international hotels have opened in the country in recent years. This makes more waste, which creates pressure on environment, said Phang.

Each hotel typically has six types of waste: used guest soap, guest amenities, condemned linens, plastic water bottles, buffet food and coffee grounds, Phang added.

The project will collect used linens from hotels, which range from towels, bed covers, cushion covers, curtains and staff uniforms. Then, they will allocate these materials to locals, providing them training on how to recycle and make new products – bed covers for hospitals, kids’ uniforms, bags, sleeping bags or cooking aprons.

“I strongly believe that people don’t want charity, they want to work. When we can give them livelihood, they are happy and confident that they can make money and value,” Phang said.

“The project is about environmental and social protection, and hygiene as well. That’s why we call it Linens for Life. It’s life and livelihood,” Phang added.

“In many health facilities in remote areas, it is hard to find a cloth for bed cover. Recently we have collected about 100 cloths and gave them to six communes of Sơn La province, the health officers here were very happy and appreciative. These cloths are then used to cover their equipment and used as bed covers,” said Deputy Director of CCIHP Pham Vu Thien.

Implemented in Cambodia, Philippines and Thailand with the support of 40 hotels, the project has uplifted more than 200 underprivileged people.

Linens for Life will be helpful in Vietnam and is expected to benefit 400 to 500 people here, said Phang.

The project started collecting used linen at Hilton and Melia hotel from June 3 and is calling for more hotels to join hands.-VNA