Australian paint manufacturers are asking Australia’s consumer watchdog to extend a 15 cent per litre levy on paint sold to increase the success of its used paint disposal and recycling scheme Paintback.
Product stewardship scheme Paintback has appointed Lucia Cade to lead collaboration for a sustainable paint industry.
On joining Paintback’s board, Ms Cade said the unique industry-led business model creates a responsible life cycle for products, and value from previously discarded material.
Since beginning in 2016, Paintback has collected more than 13,000 tonnes of paint and packaging from consumers and trade.
“Paintback provides great environmental stewardship to match great customer service. This is the future of industry accountability to manage the world’s precious resources,” Ms Cade said.
“An inspiring level of collaboration between business is needed to achieve this.”
According to a Paintback statement, Ms Cade presides over a number of boards as a non-executive director, and holds advisory roles in global listed companies and government organisations including South East Water, Carbon Revolution, Engineers Australia, Regional Investment Corporation and Future Fuels Co-operative Research Centre.
“Bringing more than 20 years experience in commercial engineering to Paintback, Ms Cade has driven innovation and government and regulatory stakeholder engagement across industries including water, waste, energy and infrastructure,” the statement reads.
Ms Cade will lead the board of business leaders, working with Dulux Group Chief Operating Officer Patrick Jones, Consumer Brands Asia Region President Richard Meagher, Paintback CEO Karen Gomez and others.
“Successful business leaders today are conductors of an orchestra, where excellence in every single instrument is what creates beautiful music,” Ms Cade said.
“Modern leaders normalise differences in the world. You want people who are excellent at what they do.”
As an independent not-for-profit organisation, Paintback is funded through a 15 cent plus GST levy on eligible paint products sold, approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Monash Council has collected the most paint in Australia this year for national product stewardship scheme Paintback.
The council was the first in Victoria so sign up to the Paintback scheme in 2016 and has since returned the most paint across Australia for two years in a row.
- Paintback opens landmark amount of collection sites
- Taking Paintback from the consumer
- Paintback draws interest in China
In 2017/2018, the transfer station in Notting Hill collected 345,590 kilograms of paint, with more than 86,700 customers using the service at the station.
Paintback’s service is provided for no cost to residents looking to dispose of their unwanted paint, as it is funded by a 15 cents levy added to the price of paints.
City of Monash Mayor Paul Klisaris said he couldn’t be prouder of the community’s use of the Paintback scheme to keep paint and its packaging out of landfill.
“The takeup of this program proves that our transfer station is a well-utilised community resource and that people want to do everything possible to send as little as possible to landfill and reuse and recycle wherever possible,” Cr Klisaris said.
“This is a great initiative led by the paint industry and shows leadership in responsible disposal and innovative reuse of its products.”
Paint packaging and waste liquid are separated under the program, with the containers being recycled. The waste paint can be used in a number of ways, including for energy recovery for solvent and liquid/solid separation for water-based paint. Additional research into finding new ways to use unwanted paint is also being funded by the industry.
Paintback Chief Executive Karen Gomez said the City of Monash was an early adopter of the Paintback scheme and welcome trade partners with open arms.
“It goes to show you what a positive attitude, with shared- responsibility can achieve,” Ms Gomez said.
The Paintback product stewardship scheme has opened its 100th collection site as 10 new sites are launched across Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.
A 15 cent a litre levy on paint products helps support the scheme, which aims to reduce the amount of pain and containers which end up in landfills.
- Taking Paintback from the consumer
- Paintback draws interest in China
- Paintback fills paint product stewardship gap
Paintback repurposes valuable materials into recycled packaging, alternative energy fuel and water resources. It also helps fund research on new methods of recycling unwanted paint waste.
The scheme is backed by companies such as Dulux, Taubmans, Haymes, Resene, Rust-Oleum and Wattyl, and accounts for more than 95 per cent of all architectural and decorative paint sold in Australia.
“We now have 34 sites in Queensland and 30 sites in Victoria where there’s very strong support for the concept.” Ms Gomez said.
Paintback Chief Executive Officer Karen Gomez said Australians throw away 15 million kilograms of unused paint with containers every year
“Since we began a little over two years ago, we’ve been able to collect in excess of 6 million kilograms for safe disposal,” she said.
Paintback accepts a range of decorative and architectural paints, stains and varnishes secured in their original containers op up to 20 litres.
Paintback’s Chief Executive, Karen Gomez, explains how the company helped divert more than five million kilograms of consumer paint and packaging away from landfill since its launch.
A unique Australian scheme to collect and reuse unwanted paint and packaging is creating interest in China.
A 20-strong Chinese delegation was in Melbourne late last week to study the successful Paintback initiative, which has opened 74 collection sites nationwide in its first 18 months and accepted more than 5.3 million kilograms of paint and packaging – equivalent to 7 kilograms every minute.
“Dealing responsibly with unwanted paint to keep it out of landfill is a global issue and ours is the first voluntary, industry-led scheme anywhere in the world,” said Paintback chief executive Karen Gomez.
“The Chinese wanted to see all aspects of the process and to talk with trade painters about how it works in practice.”
The visitors inspected a collection site at the Boroondara Recycling and Waste Disposal Centre in Camberwell, then toured facilities where paint and packaging are separated for disposal or recycling and solvent paints are prepared for use as a replacement for fossil fuel in cement manufacture in Dandenong.
Led by the Chinese National Coatings Industry Association, the delegation included industry and government representatives. The CNCIA is developing policies to support industry sustainability efforts and key issues that need to be considered as new environmental policies are being developed in China.
“The strength of Paintback is that it both supports and encourages professional and DIY painters not just to do the right thing but to actually think about paint as a reusable resource,” Ms Gomez said.
“Already more than 15 million Australians are no more than 20 kilometres from a free collection site and more sites are opening all the time. In other areas, we provide a mobile service.
“Our goal is to make it normal for people to want to take their paint back, rather than stockpile it or throw it away into the environment, and the response has been quite overwhelming.”
Paintback was developed by five founding member companies – DuluxGroup, PPG Industries, Valspar, Haymes and Resene. Between them, they produce more than 30 brands and 95 per cent of the architectural and decorative paint sold in Australia.
Launched in May 2016, the scheme is supported by all state and territories governments, some of which amended their regulations to ensure it could operate nationally.
As well as disposing of paint responsibly, Paintback repurposes valuable materials into recycled packaging, alternative energy and water resources in industrial processes. It also is funding research to find better uses for unwanted paint.