In 2004, 3R Group began working with Resene to develop and launch the PaintWise™ stewardship scheme. 3R Group continues to manage the scheme along with paint and packaging takeback programmes on behalf of other major industry brands, Dulux and Wattyl.
Collected paint and packaging are processed at 3R’s depots in Auckland, Christchurch, and Hastings.
The Government’s declaration of single-use plastic as a priority product under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008, in July 2020, means paint and packaging stewardship is set to change.
The priority product status applies to the packaging. However, an industry working group agrees the paint itself is an important part of any scheme that deals with paint packaging. Paint also has the potential for the highest circular economy impact through reuse and repurposing.
This has seen the industry come together in a project to design a scheme that all brands, big and small will be able to participate in.
In August 2022 the project got the go-ahead from industry through the New Zealand Paint Manufacturers Association (PaintMan). 3R has begun an 18-month, five-milestone project, involving the design of a national product stewardship scheme for paint and packaging.
As of September 2023, these paint and packaging takeback schemes have resulted in 11,000 tonnes being collected for diversion from landfill. That’s nearly 9,000 tonnes (6.6 million litres) of paint and more than 2,100 tonnes of metal and plastic.
All plastic and metal packaging is recycled. White plastic processed in the North Island depots goes into making new paint pails.
A core benefit of stewardship is the development of ways to recycle or reuse materials. In this case, paint is the focus, with 3R’s research and development team working on a variety of possible solutions.
Current solutions include:
- Paintcrete - using paint as a replacement for the virgin materials that would otherwise be used to create the right aeration needed in low-strength concrete, like pathways.
- Community Paint Initiative – A Resene-supported initiative reusing paint for community projects.
- Resene RenderPrep – repurposing paint for use in the construction industry.