San Francisco

Soap (solid bar)

Soap (solid bar)
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Most bar soap fragments will adhere to a new bar of soap if they are wet. Try to keep using any soap fragments until used-up.


One way to get rid of an unopened packaged soap item: See if a local homeless shelter or other nonprofit would like to take them.

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Small amounts of animal fat and ashes are not likely to do major harm to the environment. But, some of the chemicals found in modern-day soaps will. Perhaps the most significant are triclosan and triclocarban, which are used in antibacterial soap. These chemicals do not break down in the wastewater treatment process, meaning they end up back in rivers, fields and even our drinking water. Some studies have shown the chemicals harm sea creatures. Many have shown that using antibacterial soap at home provides no real benefit. Soap may also contain artificial fragrances, paraffin wax and other ingredients derived from petroleum and other chemicals. Those microbeads found in some soft soaps do not always disintegrate; instead, they end up in whole form in lakes. All of these are things that do not need to go into our waste stream.

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