We have developed a solution that collects used cooking oil and converts it into liquid and solid household cleaning solutions via a process of simple saponification. The process is designed to occur at the local village level and can be adopted by disadvantaged groups to generate a source of income from the sale of products produced.
On Penang Island, we capacity built a group of rural-based intellectually disabled to produce cleaning products from recycled cooking oil collected from local restaurants. This income generation model has now been in place for 10 years by this group.
The household cleaning products include a liquid household cleaner and a solid dish wash. They either package these products under their own label or produce for other brands. The products are fragranced using essential oils.
Sustainability is achieved in a number of ways. First, this solution solves the problem of used cooking oil disposal. It can now be turned into a valuable commodity. Second, the cleaning products are biodegradable. They do not contain any the synthetic surfactants of fragrances commonly found in household cleaners. And third, it provides an opportunity for vulnerable members of rural communities to produce sustainable incomes.