Post-consumer paint recycling in Canada is mandated under provincial jurisdiction and 100 percent of the cost for recovery and recycling paint is borne by the producers or brand owners, CPCA members. Canada leads the world in post-consumer paint recycling with a program in every province with 28 million kilograms of paint recycled in 2017, enough to paint 2 million homes. There are many ways that paint can be recycled. Most often the ‘highest quality’ latex paint is sorted and turned back into recycled paint that can be re-used. Recycled paint is environmentally preferable to new paint for some purposes, while still maintaining comparable quality. In many cases, reusable paints of the same colour are pumped into a tank where the material is mixed and tested. The paint is adjusted with additives and colorants as necessary. Finally, the paint is fine filtered and packaged for sale to consumers. Paint that cannot be reused has other environmentally friendly uses. Non-reusable paint can be made into a product used in cement manufacturing, thereby recycling virtually 100% of the original paint. Recycling one gallon of paint could save 13 gallons of water, 1 quart of oil, and 250,000 gallons of water pollution, 13.74 pounds of CO2, save enough energy to power the average home for 3 hours, or cook 6 meals in a microwave oven, or blow dry someone's hair 27 times.
Issues Tracking, Regulatory Updates & Canada Coatings HUB Resources
Canada has done a great job over the years on post-consumer paint recycling with a program for leftover paint in every province under provincial legislation. For eight of the provinces Product Care is the program operator managing the program on behalf of the producers with Alberta Management Recycling Authority in Alberta and Ecopeinture in Quebec. Over 98 percent of the volume sold is by manufacturers who are CPCA members. Unfortunately regulations are not harmonized across the country with unique challenges in each province related to program plans, costs, efficiencies, etc. One of CPCA’s long-standing objectives is to work on increasing harmonization of legislation across Canada, which was done in 2014 when the CPCA Board took the decision to establish an Industry Stewardship Organization (ISO) in Ontario per established legislation securing MOE approval to move operations from Stewardship Ontario to Product Care, the first one established in Ontario under the Waste Diversion Act. CPCA continues to liaise with the three program operators and support efforts to ensure legislation and regulations in the provinces do not negatively impact leftover paint recycling and to ensure efficiency rules the way in which waste recovery programs are operated.
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