Paintback has now diverted this incredible amount of paint from Australian landfills and waterways last year, via its 155 permanent locations. Residents and commercial painters are leading the charge as the nation’s top disposers of unwanted paint, withPaintback revealing the City of Monash’s waste transfer and recycling station as Australia’s top-performing paint disposal centre. Almost 350,000 kg of paint and packaging was recovered by City of Monash alone in 2019/20.
The Paintback Scheme was started by Karen Gomez 5 years ago. Before that time, there was no network for paint recycling in Australia. The scheme is supported by paint manufacturers through a 15c-a-litre levy on paint products. Commercial painters and DIY can use the scheme, dropping off up to 100 litres per visit.
In 2019/2020 alone, Australians safely disposed of 8.1 million kg of unwanted paint and packaging in 2019/2020, smashing the previous year’s tally of 6.2 million kg.And by the end of June this year, Australians are on track to have safely disposed of more than 28 million kg of paint and packaging since Paintback started five years ago. Paintback CEO Karen Gomez:
“OUR SUCCESS IS ONLY POSSIBLE THROUGH SUPPORT FROM AUSTRALIANS, AND COLLABORATION WITH INDUSTRY LEADERS, PAINT SELLERS, GOVERNMENT AND ABOUT 100 LOCAL COUNCILS WHO HELP US OPERATE.
THEY HAVE HELPED PAINTBACK LIVE UP TO ITS VALUES OF BEING RESPONSIBLE, COLLABORATIVE, INCLUSIVE AND INNOVATIVE, WHILE INSPIRING PEOPLE TO LIVE SUSTAINABLY AND MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE IN KEEPING UNWANTED PAINT OUT OF LANDFILL."
Many Australians still don't know how to best get rid of paint - a major concern, since it has been estimated that up to 5 per cent of paint purchased each year ends up surplus to requirements. Paintback research shows that while one in three Australians (36%) have paint stored away, more than half (54%) didn’t know there were organisations to help them dispose of unwanted paint. If you can’t re-use your paint, drop it off free of charge to a Paintback site and give your paint a second life.
Paintback transports the used paint from collection sites for treatment and repurposing, significantly reducing the paint in landfill and other inappropriate disposal pathways. Currently, unwanted paint is converted into an alternative fuel source replacing coal, or its water is extracted and used by other industries, reducing the need to use mains water. Paintback is funding Australian research into how it can improve the recovery of the paint and pails, to reduce demand on virgin resources. Paintback aims to have 90 percent of unwanted paint diverted into Australia’s budding circular economy – where products are re-used or are repurposed for other manufacturing or industry processes to keep them circulating instead of being discarded permanently.
Paint and paint packaging recovered as at February 2021: