Paint recovery scheme to continue until 2031

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) will continue to authorise the 15c-per-litre levy (plus GST) on the wholesale sale of architectural and design (A& D) paint that is part of the National Paint Product Stewardship Scheme operated by NGO Paintback. This is great news, according to Karen Gomez, CEO, Paintback.

To recover paint and recycle 90 million kilograms of waste from landfill and waterways by 2031, the ACCC said in a statement that the “scheme is likely to result in environmental benefits through increased collection of waste A&D paint in Australia”. It would also mean “less improper disposal than would be the case if the state, territory and local government collection programs continued to operate without the scheme”.

Last year, the scheme collected eight million kilograms of old paint and its packaging.

“It upholds industry’s belief that striking a balance between good and ideal, it can efficiently deliver a net environmental benefit through a nationally harmonised scheme, compared to fragmented programs run through the state, territory, and local governments,’’ said Gomez.

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Paintback estimates the scheme will collect between 8.5 million and 9.5 million kilograms of waste and packaging every year until July 2026, which could lead to the recovery of 90 million kilograms of waste in addition to 28 million kilograms already collected since May 2016 when the scheme was first started.

Paintback’s approach to recycling doesn’t end in collecting waste but also converts the unwanted paint into alternative fuel resources, while the water can be extracted and used in other industries, and the steel cans can be recycled, too.

“If we can make Australia’s unwanted paint a hero of our circular economy, we help protect the environment, reduce the amount of paint in landfills, and support local innovation,” Gomez said.