Our appetite for plastic – and the convenience it often offers – has resulted in eight billion metric tons of the stuff kicking about by some estimates. Much of it is single use and ends up either in landfill or washed out to sea as ocean waste, where it takes, on average, 400 million years to decompose. Ouch.
But thanks to the positive impact of the 'Attenborough Effect', manufacturers are sitting up and taking notice. In the world of home decorating, Crown (opens in new tab) is leading the way as the first manufacturer to produce paint packaging across their various ranges made from 100 per cent recycled plastic, helping customers reduce plastic waste when decorating. If you've ever felt guilty about disposing of those empty plastic paint pots, this will be a load of your eco-conscious mind.
Now for the science: the recycled packaging is possible thanks to an innovative new manufacturing process, which separates polypropylene plastics – used mainly to produce shampoo bottles, yoghurt pots, water bottles and more – breaking them down into small plastic pellets. These can then be dyed and moulded to produce new paint packaging.
But what more can we, the users, do with our old paints and paint pots?
- Shop Crown paints available from Homebase (opens in new tab)
And when you're done with your paint, why not recycle the packaging so that it can live on? While recycling paint packaging takes a little more effort than glass, cardboard and tin cans, it's small steps like this that will drastically reduce the waste generated when decorating. Options include:
- Community RePaint (opens in new tab) – rather than leaving leftover paint, untouched, in your garden shed, why not donate it to a worthy cause? Powered by Dulux, Community Repaint provides community groups and projects with repurposed paint, cutting their costs and making the communities we live in brighter.
- Recycle Now (opens in new tab) – while you can't put empty paint pots in with your household recycling, most local councils provide recycling schemes for paint packaging. Use the handy location tool on Recycle Now to find your nearest recycling point.
If you're planning a paint project and want to get the most for your money, check out our pick of the best paint deals.