In the UK, our research shows that each year 55 million litres of paint and 90 million containers are wasted. We are determined to change this by exploring new ways to recycle and reuse paints and their containers.
Paint waste is particularly difficult to manage because both the paint and the containers need to be tackled. No current UK infrastructure can recycle or reuse this waste at scale, so most is landfilled or incinerated, losing valuable and scarce resources. AkzoNobel Decorative Paints UK & Ireland is searching for a solution.
Paint calculator to help minimise waste at source
Of course, the most effective way of reducing post-use paint waste is not creating it in the first place, so we have developed the Dulux Paint calculator www.dulux.co.uk/calculator which estimates how much paint is required based on room dimensions and paint coverage rate.
Community RePaint: reusing paint in the community
Over 20 years ago, Dulux helped establish Community RePaint, a national network of non-profit schemes across the UK who collect leftover paint from retailers, decorators, paint manufacturers and Household Waste Recycling Centres and redistribute it to community groups and those in social need - ensuring that the paint is not only reused but that it also has a positive social impact. This network has now grown to over 70 schemes across the UK.
A sustainable way to wash out paint
How you choose to wash out paint is just as important as choosing the right products when it comes to working sustainably. Dulux offer the Clearwash system, which is the sustainable way to clean brushes, rollers and trays on site. Clearwash separates water-based paint washing into non-hazardous solid residue that easy to dispose of and clear water that can be re-used. For smaller jobs then we offer the following advice
Cleaning: Solvent Based products
If you are taking a short break from painting an alternative to cleaning your brush or roller is to wrap them in cling film. This will keep them supple and ready to use when you restart. Once your job is complete remove any excess paint from the brush, putting it back into the can where possible. Then clean your brush using Polycell brush cleaner in a container with a lid, once the brush is clean seal the lid. Leave the container until the dirty solvent has settled. The clean solvent can then be poured back into the original bottle for re-use and the sediment left to dry before disposal in your general household waste.
Water Based products
If you are taking a short break an alternative to cleaning your brush or roller is to wrap them in cling film. For longer breaks or when your job is complete remove any excess paint from the brush/roller, putting it back into the can where possible. To reduce water usage use a large container of warm soapy water rinse and clean them thoroughly. Once most paint has been removed place the applicator under a running tap to remove any final residue. Shake out brushes and spin rollers to remove any excess water. This should be done outside.