Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt officially inaugurated Paintback on Friday (29 April), the country’s first unified, national product stewardship scheme aimed at diverting paint and its packaging from landfill.
Australians buy more than 100 million litres of paint each year but around 5 per cent of it ends up as waste, making paint and its packaging one of the biggest source of liquid waste into landfill.
This world first program aims to tackle the issue by offering professional and home decorators an easy, environmentally-friendly way to dispose of unwanted paint and packaging. The organisation’s goal is to divert more than 45,000 tonnes of paint and its packaging from landfill over the next five years
“We aim to offer a collection service to 85% of the population within five years,” said Karen Gomez, the CEO of Paintback Ltd, which will run the scheme. “This will be a co-ordinated, national program, but instead of government running it, the industry will.”
Paintback is the first unified national scheme developed and implemented by the sector, To fund it, Funded by Dulux Group, PPG Industries, Valspar, Haymes Paint and Resene – which produce more than 90 per cent of all architectural and decorative paint sold in Australia – will add 15 cents a litre to the wholesale price of their products. Other manufacturers will also be invited to participate.
Launching the scheme, Greg Hunt said the scheme offered a solution to ordinary people undertaking DIY to dispose of their paint correctly and for professional decorators to demonstrate good habits to their clients. He then presented representatives from the five founding paint manufacturers supporting Paintback with certificates to mark the occasion.
Paintback will set up about 70 paint-specific collection points over the next two years – starting with 12 in capital cities through a partnership with Cleanaway, which provides the expertise and a significant national footprint to collect and treat the waste paint and packaging.
“The launch of Paintback is an exciting step forward in the safe and sustainable management of waste paint”, said Blake Senior, Cleanaway’s General Manager – Liquid Waste Services. “Paintback’s rapidly expanding network of collection sites over coming months will make it easier for people to do the right thing and dispose of paint safely – importantly keeping it out of landfill.
Stage one of the roll-out, which begins this week, will establish sites in every State and Territory before end of the year. Stage two will move to major regional centres in 2017. The industry also will fund research to find better uses for unwanted paint.
More information about the scheme, how councils can get involved and details of collection sites is available from the Paintback website.