Paintback initiative hits the 23 million kg mark

Paintback, the national initiative to keep millions of litres of excess paint and packaging from entering our vital waterways and landfills, has hit another milestone with over 23 million kgs of unwanted paint and packaging responsibly collected and treated since its launch in 2016.

Australians buy more than 100 million litres of paint each year but around 5% of it ends up as waste, making paint and its packaging one of the biggest source of liquid waste into landfill.

There are now over 155 collection points in Australia, with 85% of Australians being no more than 20 kilometres from a designated site. This initiative is contributing its share of positive change for recycling, sustainable environments and preserving our natural resources.

Paintback’s CEO Karen Gomez reflected on the success of the program recently, stating “With the help of the Australian people and our dedicated stakeholders, Paintback’s value as a stewardship program has only continued to grow since 2016. The industry-led approach creates a responsible lifecycle for paint products within a circular economy, as well as educating future generations for years to come”.

As well as disposing of paint responsibly, Paintback repurposes valuable materials into recycled packaging, alternative energy, and water resources in industrial processes. Paintback is also continuously researching and developing better ways to use or recycle Australia’s unwanted paint.

Having Paintback operate as a free drop-off point to local communities and traders means it can be accessible to the everyone. That gives you the perfect opportunity to clean out the shed, take care of the environment and avoid the landfill fees that apply at conventional dumps.

Paintback is the first unified national scheme to be developed and voluntarily implemented by industry. It has the support of the Commonwealth Government and all States and Territories, some of which agreed to amend their regulations to allow trade painters to use the same system as DIY painters.

“Previously, trade painters could not use government-run schemes, which target households, and so to dispose of paint safely they had to use commercial disposal services, which can cost as much as $4 a litre,” Ms Gomez said.  “The alternative was stockpiling or illegal dumping.”

The scheme is backed by companies that produce 28 leading brands, including Dulux, Taubmans, Haymes, Resene, Rust-Oleum and Wattyl, and account for more than 90% of all architectural and decorative paint sold in Australia.