MPs Call on Government to Support Solutions to Make Better Use of Leftover Paint

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A recent debate in parliament saw MPs discussing how to create a circular economy for leftover decorative paint in the UK.

Sponsored by Angela Smith Mp, the debate focused on the British Coatings Federation’s (BCF) PaintCare programme, the industry-led initiative aiming to have government help create a circular economy for leftover paint in the UK.

The debate looked at what is needed to stimulate a market for remanufactured paint, including changing the specification for the use of remanufactured paint in government painting contracts, and how the government could enable an increase in the number of household waste recycling centres (HWCRS) in the UK accepting paint.

PaintCare was started by the BCF to make better use of the 55 million litres of leftover paint each year in the UK, most of which ends up landfilled or incinerated once disposed of. Since 2014, the program has been working with industry and government to create a solution for leftover decorative paint in the UK that, if implemented nationally, presents a 40% cost saving to local government per year and the diversion of leftover paint into reuse and remanufacturing.

To help stimulate the market for remanufactured paint, PaintCare is calling on the government to stipulate 5% of government painting contracts use a significant percentage of remanufactured paint.

BCF chief executive Tom Bowtell said: “I was encouraged to see such wide support from MPs and Angela Smith MP articulated the case very clearly. It was very disappointing that the solutions proposed, stimulate a wider market for leftover paint via green government procurement, was dismissed by the Minister of waste Therese Coffey MP, given that this would actually have helped reduce the cost of managing leftover paint.

“the Minister’s assumption that implementing extended producer responsibility (EPR) will help stop leftover paint being generated is simply wrong – evidence from other countries shows that paint continues to be leftover even with EPR, because it is inevitable that consumers won’t use up all the paint they buy.”

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