Paint reuse: time to raise the game (rebooted)

Hot (or at least warm) on the heels of the Dulux-sponsored report referenced in our musings here, more welcome evidence of growing momentum behind the opportunities for ‘doing good’ in social, economic and environmental terms, waiting to be realised through more recycling of paint.

This initiative comes from the British Coatings Federation in the shape of their PaintCare initiative, which brings together a number of influential partners (including AkzoNobel and Dulux) to help create a national scheme for leftover decorative paint. Their ambition is clear and welcome – to end the landfilling of decorative paint.

This diagram provides an overall assessment of what happens to the surplus paint in circulation at present.

Paint recycle flow

Whereas this one takes that assessment and sets it alongside the position they would like to reach.

paint disposal ambition v2

There is an interim report available which sets out the background, and prepares the ground for further work to set out a stronger economic case. Items of note include a reference to consumer research indicating a reasonable level of interest in purchasing remanufactured paint – 41% of those questioned indicated a willingness to buy. The report also points to the need for a major communication programme to raise public awareness of what to do with surplus paint, which is ideally to take it to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC).

All well and good if you live in an area which is home to an HWRC, and more importantly one that is willing to take paint. In some places, the first is true whilst the second isn’t; in others neither is true, and regardless of the position there are complications to do with the way the money (especially tax) flows around  this whole question, which has a bearing on how different councils deal with this issue. So along with consumer action, there’s a need for joined up thinking between local and national government.

A timely message, brought to you on the day that the Chancellor of the Exchequer presents his Autumn Statement which will shape the public spending landscape over the next 3-5 years. The story continues….in the meantime, a reminder to think about what you, dear reader, do with your surplus paint.

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