The industry believes the environmental effects that arise from the disposal of paint to landfill are not as great as those for other products. There has been a trend over the last 20 years away from solvent-borne paint and into water-borne paint. Now water-borne paint represents 80-90% of the paint market.
Some councils provide collection facilities (generally at a cost to the ratepayer) for waste paint which is then either recovered or landfilled safely. One brand owner, with almost 40% of the market, has launched a scheme to take waste paint from its customers. Other brand owners are strongly signalling their interest in participating in the Paintwise scheme, or in developing similar schemes.
It would appear that paint is on track to developing an adequate voluntary, industry-led stewardship solution. A combination of local authority and producer schemes could provide the answer to waste paint issues in New Zealand.