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New site links unwanted toiletries with local causes

New site links unwanted toiletries with local causes

A new website is helping people donate their unused and unwanted toiletries to good causes.

Toiletries Amnesty aims to reduce waste and support local causes, by listing nearby places that accept unused or unwanted toiletries, cosmetics and other related items, such as food banks, shelters and charities. The site matches people with local causes through an interactive directory of organisations that need spare bathroom and beauty products, making it simple for donors to find details of the local charities and social enterprises that need their help, and the most appropriate time and location to donate them.

The most in-demand items range from deodorant and soap to shower gel and toothpaste, with smaller travel-size or disposable items particularly useful for homeless shelters.

There are more than 25 organisations currently registered with Toiletries Amnesty, including food banks, homeless shelters, mental health charities, refuges, schools and colleges, with more welcome to join. Organisations simply need to register on the site, create an account and tell people which products they can and cannot accept.

Toiletries Amnesty first began in 2014, when photographer and writer Karen Harvey started donating her own excess toiletry supplies to a homeless shelter in Cambridgeshire. As she blogged about her experiences, she found people across the country asking for advice on where to donate their own unwanted products.

Harvey said:

“I had no idea we’d get so much support for the Toiletries Amnesty, but it’s so easy for people to get involved, it makes sense. There’s a social and environmental aspect too – small actions make big changes.”


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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