Paint it back

Is precious space in your garage filled with old paint tins you’re not sure what to do about?

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 sources of liquid waste going into landfill.

Fortunately for all of us, the Australian paint industry* has come up with a way to divert that unwanted paint and packaging from ending up in landfill and waterways.

Now in its third year, Paintback® takes back unwanted paint and packaging from both trade and DIY painters. The scheme accepts up to 100 litres per vehicle per visit secured in containers of 20 litres or less. It is funded by a 15 cent-per-litre levy added to the wholesale price of the major architectural and decorative paint brands, which means people can drop off their unwanted paint for no additional charge.

As well as responsibly collecting the paint, Paintback repurposes valuable materials into recycled packaging, alternative energy fuel and water resources using industrial processes where possible. It also is funding research to find new ways to repurpose unwanted paint materials.

*Among the founding members are major companies that supply around 95 per cent of all the architectural and decorative paint sold in Australia, Dulux, Haymes, PPG, Resene and Valspar.