SHETLAND Arts has successfully launched its paint recycling scheme, as part of the national Community RePaint network, and is now able to provide paint for sale at Mareel. Within just a few weeks of the scheme’s implementation there have been enough donations of surplus paint to provide a stock of affordable paint for general use.

Collection points at Mareel and the SIC’s Waste Management Centre at Gremista enable people with leftover paint to donate it to the scheme. This diverts the paint from entering the waste stream and provides a low-cost alternative source of paint for smaller projects at home, school or for community groups.

Currently, an estimated 50 million litres of paint every year in the UK goes to landfill or for incineration. In Shetland it gets sent south, at a cost, or if paint gets disposed of in household bins it ends up in the incinerator. By providing a facility to recycle some of this paint, it reduces waste and the amount of potential contaminants going to the incinerator.

Project manager Jane Matthews of Shetland Arts explains how the scheme works:

“If we can prevent some of the reusable paint going into the waste stream then it’s win-win, as we can make it available at a very low cost for other people to use. So we collect the paint from Gremista and Mareel and process it very simply to make sure it’s fine for re-use.

“We check each container is in good condition and that the paint inside is not solid or gone-off, we stir it up and then use a clean brush to take a sample of the paint which we use to coat the lid of the container, so it’s completely clear what colour it is. We then add our own label with the date and how full the container is and a price, based on £2/litre. Then it’s ready for re-sale from our new sales point at Mareel. So, for just a few pounds, you can get perfectly good paint for any DIY or craft project, knowing that you’re doing your bit for sustainability and re-use.

“We can only accept non-hazardous paint that can be re-used, so anything with a CHIP/CLP hazard symbol on it will have to be disposed of separately at Gremista. We’re happy to accept emulsion, gloss, eggshell, satin, undercoat, primer, floor paint, masonry paint, exterior paint, varnish and wood-stain, as long as there’s enough in the container to be of use (at least a third full).”

The sales point at Mareel will be open for business from Wednesday 26 April with a variety of colours and types of paint available and stock will be added to weekly as more surplus paint is donated.

The scheme is part of Shetland Arts’ new Creative Sustainable Futures project, a series of initiatives designed to grow the circular economy in Shetland, supporting sustainability, creativity and skill-sharing. This includes the newly opened Tool Library where members can borrow from a large selection of tools and equipment on a weekly basis, enabling them to mend, maintain, make or experiment without the need to buy new. It saves money and resources, reduces waste and promotes creativity.

The Community RePaint Network is managed by Resource Futures, an independent non-profit distributing environmental company. It has been sponsored by Dulux, part of AkzoNobel, since its inception in 1993.

For more information visit Community Repaint.

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