Ethical Performance
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AkzoNobel looks to close paint recycling loophole

October 2013

Global paints and coatings giant AkzoNobel has collaborated on a UK project looking at the viability of recycling household paint.

In the UK alone, over 300m litres of paint are bought each year, with as much as 15% going to waste, in the majority of cases ending up in landfill.

Part of the project saw AkzoNobel and design agency Seymourpowell consult with two existing paint-recycling enterprises - Newlife Paints based in Ford, West Sussex (currently sold in 170 B&Q stores around the UK), and Castle RePaint Scotland, a social enterprise based in Fife.

As part of a project, design agency Seymourpowell has a made an educational video highlighting the possibilities, as well as the benefits, of paint recycling, and also identified a completely new technology to help scale and speed up the paint recycling process for greater business viability.

Chris Sherwin, head of sustainability at Seymourpowell commented: “Paint recycling is a real area of opportunity, economically and environmentally, yet faces many design challenges to become viable. Our initial area of work has been to help improve the actual recycling process itself. By halving the time it takes to remove the old paint from used tins, we believe we can dramatically scale-up and speed-up of the process, making it far more viable for businesses facing rising costs on raw materials.”

David Cornish, Global Sustainability Manager - Resource Efficiency at AkzoNobel added: “This collaboration really helped us think through some of the tricky challenges of paint recycling. It’s an exciting area for us, but needs improving to become commercially attractive. Seymourpowell’s animation will certainly help us communicate the opportunities internally in order to bring the weight of our resources behind this research. We look forward to continue working together to further investigate this new paint recycling technology and how we and others might make use of it.”

UK & NI Ireland | Recycling

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