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ID: 394
Grid Positions: g1, g4, g5, g6, g7
Categories: Concept, Event Format
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Up links

This tool could be complementary to Awareness Raising for Transition with practical hands-on learning about the reuse of wasted oil and the reduction of water pollution.  You could also check Governance for workshop designing.

Oil recycling for Soap-Making (

JooSoap Studio aims to spread knowledge about making ecological cleaning soap from used (kitchen) cooking oil at the international scale. It involves workshops, toolkits and local-global networking.

Description of the problem

Nowaday in many countries the recycling of waste products is becoming more and more a common practice. However there are certain type of substances and material, whose recycling has not been completely defined and regulated everywhere. Such is the case of used oil from commercial and household kitchen. Normally the used oil is wasted, landfilled or even worse, drop down the sink. Those actions have enormous repercussions: wasted oil is a problem in pipes, in sewers, and in the environment. For that reason a quick answer to that is needed, raising awareness among the population and commercial activities is a must.


The idea of Joosoap is to recycle (or better said upcycle) a “waste” product into a second life product, such as biodegradable soap. To produce the soap only oil and caustic soda are needed. And the produced item is biodegradable, hence reducing the huge burden of water and environment pollution. On the other hand, currently in our household we are using a huge amount of synthetic detergents (coming from the oil and chemical industry) which are strongly connected with ocean and acuatic life deterioration. The proposal of joosoap is to substitute the chemical detergent for more natural and biodegradable ones, such as soap obtained by the upcycled oil.

Risks and precautions

  • Legal aspects related to the disposal of waste oil can in some cases impede the successful implementation of this scheme
  • Legal aspects related to the use of dangerous (caustic) substances with participants to workshops


  • Rise people’s awareness to the used cooking oil issue
  • Recycle used cooking oil to reduce water pollution
  • Prevent used cooking oil to be dumped into sewer
  • Using eco-soaps for household cleaning
  • Replace chemical detergent, save ocean lifes
  • Sharing knowledge about sustainability
  • Local material, local produce, and local use
  • Connect people, engage local community
  • Product sales for providing community, local events and activity support
  • The company release useful information about DIY soap making. Check the website here

Case study has achieved quite an interesting list of local actions that can be summarised in the famous saying “think globally, act locally”. In the urban environment of Helsinki the company has already held more than 50 workshop, upcycled more than 300 litres of used cooking oil and produced more than 3000 soap bars. The company has also a dedicated section for spreading the knowledge and the awareness of environmental benefits of upcycling used oil, with the incorporation of a JooSoap Ambassador. The ambassador is a volunteer who gives eco-soap workshops in his own country, as another local action for the oil recycling and pollution awareness.

Tips for adaptation

It is highly recommended to check legal aspects related to Health & Safety regulations, related to waste products (such as the disposal of waste oil)


JooSoap Studio is a company that aims to spread knowledge about making ecological cleaning soap from used (kitchen) cooking oil in the international scale. It involves workshops, toolkits and local-global networking. Through sharing this sustainable knowledge and movement, Joosoap focus on environmental issues of used cooking oil disposal and detergent use. By sharing and co-making together, they would like to have deeper connections with local restaurants, residents, and communities to improve sustainable life cycle.

Down links

For the topic of learning useful skills for everyday life you can check "Reskilling". The items obtained can be sold in local Farmer's markets and provide a community-linked local market. To get more information about workshops for reskilling and technical issues you can also check Solar PV panel and energy awareness workshops.