In the year 2000 the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), a Boston think tank which studied the problem of post-consumer paint waste, estimated that as much as 10% of the paint sold to households in the United States each year, is wasted.
Based on the size of the industry at that time, the PSI estimate meant that a staggering 80,000,000 gallons of paint was being wasted each year in the United States at that time.
By 2021 growth in the industry would make that number 120,000,000 gallons-per-year. The equivalent of 12 Exxon Valdez spills, stored in the garages and basements of homes around the country.
The volume of wasted gallons make paint disposal the single largest expense municipalities incur in their efforts to deal with household hazardous waste (HHW) at the local level.
And of course there is more to the problem of post-consumer waste paint than just its effect on municipal budgets!
Liquid paints filled with harmful chemicals which are able to leach out of cans as they rust, damage or otherwise degrade over time are unsuitable to be placed in landfills.
With an eye towards beginning a dialogue which could arrest this growing problem, the PSI looked to bring together 50 paint industry stakeholders; the manufacturers, consumers, retailers, recyclers and disposers of the coating which has fed my family since 1907.
Not wanting PSI to save the paint industry without me, I joined the contingent representing retailer's interests. The group consisted of Home Depot, Lowes and Tremont Paint.
From THE Bronx!
The group of paint manufacturers, hazardous waste haulers, state and municipal HHW representatives, paint retailers and recyclers meeting monthly from October 2003-September 2004 as the group worked towards a solution to the problem of post consumer paint waste solution all stakeholders could support.
That process birthed PaintCare, though not until 2009. The paint industry’s own solution to the problem of post-consumer paint waste.