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Recycled Paint Standard Completed

By Tim Wright | August 11, 2006

The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) and Green Seal, Inc. have completed a national Green Seal environmental standard for recycled-content latex paint. The standard is aimed at assuring consumers that recycled paint, in addition to being environmentally beneficial, can perform as well as virgin paint, both in terms of ease of application and quality and longevity of finish. 

Consumer concern over paint performance is one of the greatest impediments to increasing the use of recycled paint. The Master Painters Institute (MPI), a nationally recognized paint performance certification organization, worked with Green Seal and PSI on the performance portion of the standard. The paint meets the same MPI performance standards used for virgin paint in any given category. The final standard takes into account the quality, performance, and safety of recycled paint, as well as environmental attributes.

The agreement to develop the recycled paint standard was one of 11 projects that resulted from the national Paint Product Stewardship Initiative (PPSI), a dialogue facilitated by the Product Stewardship Institute that includes more than 60 stakeholders, including paint manufacturers, recyclers, painting contractors, and federal, state, and local government agencies. PSI organized the initiative in 2003 around the issue of reducing paint waste. The project to develop the recycled paint standard was funded by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, San Joaquin County in California, Portland Metro in Oregon, and the Dunn-Edwards Corporation.

“Consumers are now being given independent verification of recycled paint’s performance, which will lead to better informed purchasing decisions,” said Scott Cassel, PSI executive director.  “Developing a standard for this product will boost the use of recycled paint, cut local disposal costs, and create value from a material previously considered a waste.”

Recycled paint incorporates unused paint collected from consumers as well as excess from the original paint manufacturing process, thereby reducing the disposal of paint. Americans generate between 50 and 130 million gallons of leftover paint each year. Creating a Green Seal environmental standard for recycled paint could have the two-fold effect of increasing the demand for recycled paint and saving taxpayer disposal dollars. In addition to consumer applications, this effort is likely to boost the use of recycled paint by federal, state, and local governments.  

“Buying recycled paint will significantly decrease the cost of our local paint collections by creating a market for the leftover paint collected,” said Margo Reid Brown, chair of the California Integrated Waste Management Board “This project will boost consumer confidence in using recycled paint from those companies able to meet the Green Seal standard.”

“Green Seal is looking forward to certifying recycled paint that meets the standard, which will expand markets for this product,” said Arthur Weissman, Ph.D., Green Seal’s president and CEO.  “A Green Seal certification assures users that the product has been thoroughly evaluated, performs well, and is environmentally responsible.”

Green Seal will now begin product evaluation for paints submitted for certification by manufacturers. Paints that meet the standard will earn the Green Seal of approval, and will be able to display the Green Seal Certification Mark, which is a registered mark.

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