Unused paint gets new lease of life

Pioneering Veolia partnership delivers game-changing recycled paint

For the last 25 years, we’ve been working with an organization in the UK called Community RePaint. It works like this – unused or leftover paint is collected and passed on to help transform the lives and spaces of those in need.

The success of the initiative made us wonder what else we could do. Because we’re always looking to push the boundaries of what paint can be and what it can do. So we started thinking about something that many people didn’t think was possible – recycling paint.

And thanks to a groundbreaking partnership in the UK with resource management experts Veolia, we pulled it off to become the first major manufacturer to launch a recycled paint product.

Developed by our Dulux Trade brand, Evolve is a revolutionary matt emulsion which contains 35% recycled paint. It’s made from leftovers which otherwise would most likely have been destined for landfill.

Once the unused white paint has been reclaimed, it’s sorted, filtered and refined by Veolia. It’s then re-engineered with new paint by AkzoNobel and tested extensively to make sure that every tin meets the high standards expected from Dulux Trade.

“Evolve is a game changer,” says Veolia Sales Manager, John Hamilton. “It’s the first time a mainstream brand has developed a paint with remanufactured content.”

Adds Rinske van Heiningen, AkzoNobel’s Director of Sustainability: “We’re always looking for new ways to drive sustainable innovation, cut down on waste and create a circular economy for paint – while offering our customers fresh solutions that don’t compromise on quality. By introducing Evolve, we will reduce the carbon footprint of our Dulux Trade products, and help our customers reach their own sustainability goals.”

Research in the UK has revealed that more than 50% of households have between four and 20 tins of part-used paint gathering dust from old DIY jobs, while an estimated 50 million liters of paint sold in the UK goes to waste each year. Recycling these leftovers could go a long way to taking the pressure off the environment.

“Sustainability is at the heart of our business,” continues Rinske. “That’s why we focus on developing products and technologies with the biggest positive impact. We’re also well aware that people expect more than just a product from a brand, so we’re constantly striving to deliver the most sustainable – and impactful – solutions.”

Evolve was created after years of investment, hard work and commitment to improve our sustainable offering. Its success is also down to the very strong collaboration with Veolia, which was paramount to developing the product. A particular achievement was reducing the carbon footprint of each liter of Evolve paint produced by more than 10% (compared with standard vinyl matt).

It’s another example of how we continue to seek out exciting partnerships while setting the pace as the leader when it comes to sustainability in the paints and coatings industry.