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UK Adopts Paint Recycling Program

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

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CHESTER, ENGLAND—British paint and coating manufacturers have adopted the PaintCare recycling program, developed in the U.S., for leftover architectural paints.

“Despite the great strides made by the UK paint industry to reduce their environmental impact, leftover paint continues to end up in landfill," British Coatings Federation chief executive Tom Bowtell said May 14 at the group's annual conference, where the decision was announced.

PaintCare UK is a twin of the U.S. PaintCare program, which began in Oregon in 2010 and is expanding nationwide.

Making it Work

The federation announcement marked the beginning of the process to implement the program in the UK. Many details remain to be worked out, Bowtell said.

Photos: British Coatings Federation

The UK currently generates about 50 million liters of leftover decorative paint each year—enough to fill 20 Olympic-size swimming pools, the British Coatings Federation said.

"We now have the ability to reuse and remanufacture paint, but challenges remain over creating a national network of dropoff points at council recycling centers, finding markets for remanufactured paint, and regulatory issues," he said.

"The aim of PaintCare is to help remove these barriers, to create a national solution to the leftover paint problem, but this will not happen overnight and will require collaboration from all stakeholders.”

Those stakeholders include paint manufacturers, retailers, trade associations, waste management companies, and local and national governments.

50M Liters of Leftovers

The UK currently generates about 50 million liters of leftover decorative paint each year—enough to fill 20 Olympic-size swimming pools, the federation said.

Only three in 10 household waste centers accept leftover architectural paints, the group said.

About two percent of the UK's leftover paint is recycled; the Coatings Federation aims to increase that to more than 50 percent.

Manufacturers on Board

Paint brands collaborating on the initiative include AkzoNobel (Dulux), Craig and Rose, Crown Paints, Farrow & Ball, Green Farm Paints, Little Greene, Newlife Paints, Manor Coatings, PPG Industries (Johnstone’s and Leyland), Sherwin Williams (Ronseal) and Valspar.

TomBowtell PaintCare logo

The British Coatings Federation is still working out details for its PaintCare program, including creating a network of dropoff points and finding markets for remanufactured paint, said executive director Tom Bowtell (left). The UK program is patterned after the U.S. original.

“Our schemes have already saved 2.7 million liters of paint from landfill or incineration, and we are excited to build on this success together with the British Coatings Foundation," said David Cornish, Global Sustainability Manager for AkzoNobel Decorative Paints.

"PaintCare will help us work together with other parties, especially in government and the waste industry, to address some of the more challenging problems.”

For more information, email Tania Morrill of the British Coatings Federation.

U.S. Growth

PaintCare in the United States continues to grow under the sponsorship of the American Coatings Association, the U.S. counterpart to BCF.

In addition to Oregon, the program is up and running in California, Connecticut, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Vermont. The law takes effect July 1 in Colorado; Aug. 1, in Maine.

Millions of gallons of paint have been recycled under the PaintCare program. The program is funded through a surcharge on paint sales.


Tagged categories: British Coatings Federation; Paint disposal; Paint recycling; PaintCare program

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