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.
A not-for-profit, PaintCare operates under the auspices of the American Coatings Association (ACA). The ACA is the trade association representing the interests of the country’s paint manufacturers.
I recently had PaintCare president Marjaneh Zarrehparvar on my podcast. The executive sharing that her organization had recently redirected their 50,000,000th gallon away from the waste stream.
Currently operating in nine states plus the District of Columbia, PaintCare debuts on Broadway in May of 2022. That's when the organization begins operations in my former home-state of New York.
During the prep for our episode, Marjaneh shared one of her organization’s biggest challenges: reaching independent paint dealers. With hope that one-day all 50 states will adopt the PaintCare legislation, Marjaneh recognizes how crucial of a role the independent channel plays will play in the group’s expansion plans.
In addition to the environmental and fiscal advantages of the PaintCare program the group offers independent paint dealers an opportunity to grow their businesses. The group's research showing that 35% of the stores which signed up to be PaintCare drop-off centers reported increased foot traffic from new consumers.
My personal connections with PaintCare‘s history plus my respect for the work this group does for the environment, paint consumers and paint dealers has me tingly to announce that beginning this week PaintCare will be the sponsor of both Mark, My Words! THE Podcast and Mark, My Words! In THE News.
Overdue and Over Budget
Merriam-Webster defines a revolution as a “sudden, radical or complete change.” Making the digital platform I designed and built for independent paint dealers, THE Revolution, well-named.
While the development of the package took (far) longer and cost (far) more than I had originally anticipated, it will be worth the wait and added expense.
Born as an e-commerce site for paint dealers THE Revolution I will make available in the next 60-days will radically change the way dealers interact with their businesses.
THE Revolution‘s dashboard allows dealers to manage their e-commerce, point-of-sale, inventory, customers and shipping from one location and database.
All of which is just the beginning.