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Eco paint news round-up

Listed under Blog, Eco, Mythic paint, paint Posted Apr 25 2011

I regularly come across sites and products related to eco painting and decorating. Some ideas are positive, whereas others, to me, just endorse the lip service mentality of monolithic chemical companies who don’t really care about the environment, if it hits their bottom line. Here is an eco paint news round-up.

Community RePaint

This recycling program has been sponsored by Dulux since 1993.

Community RePaint schemes collect unwanted, surplus paint and re-distribute it to individuals, families and communities in need, improving the wellbeing of people and the appearance of places across the UK. In doing so the Community RePaint network provides social, environmental and economic benefits and is managed by the environmental consultancy, Resource Futures.

It is a noble cause, one which I would like to support, and I am awaiting details of how to get odds and sods of paint into the right hands.

Recycle used paint cans

As a professional painter and decorator, disposal has become a tricky deal and if you dig into the details, like an energy audit of transport, recycling, disposal, life cycle of a can etc, who knows what to do for the best.

Some suppliers openly offer to take back empty or near-empty cans. Others don’t publicise a recycling policy, but will help out if asked. Others say you are on your own to deal with the rubbish yourself.

What I do know for sure, it is a pain to send old cans back to Dulux Decorating Centre for recycling. The staff want to help but there is paperwork, conditions, and they charge a small fee per can. I was apparently the first one in Macclesfield to ask about the scheme. I haven’t returned any cans there for ages.

My favourite paint company, Little Greene have no returned can policy. A local distributor kindly offered to accept empty Little Greene cans off his own back.

What are the rest of them up to?

Recycling paint

To my way of thinking, the easiest way to reduce environmental pollution is to stop consuming. That isn’t going to happen, though, in the decorating world, unless we hang up our brushes and suffer the consequences. (We paint for 4 reasons- Decoration, Information, Preservation and Sanitation – so it is fair to say that modern society wouldn’t do well if we stopped painting! )

If we continue consuming, but want to make a big dent on environmental damage, then recycling seems to be the next best step.

As an idea, 1 in 7 gallons of emulsion paint purchased annually in the UK ends up in a tip or a garage. Newlife, a recycled paint company takes discarded paint from local councils and uses about 80% of old paint in their new paint products. This simple approach is doing more for the environment than any of the big paint companies who chip away at the polluting chemical content of their paint one percentage point at a time.

A lot of pros turn their nose up at recycled paint, but I like the Newlife ceiling paint. Equivalent to a Dulux vinyl matt standard in terms of coverage, and sells at half the price. They were talking abut supplying B&Q with an eco-friendly paint range. Let’s hope it works out for them.

UPDATE – They pulled it off. Newlife Paints’ matt emulsions are in B&Q

Do you have any eco paint information or products you would like to pass on? If so I will be happy to give it a spin and report back.

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