Ask your elected representative to support a plan for paint recycling - Step 1

The UK has a paint recycling problem. 

With a ‘postcode lottery’ of whether paint can even be recycled locally, council advice including ‘add cat litter to paint before disposal’ and the fact that 98% of paint that is taken to tips ends up burned or in landfill – it’s no surprise that 75% of UK households are #PaintStashers.

Critically, for every litre of water and solvent-based paint stashed away there is an estimated 500g of valuable polymers going to waste. Our report, Polymers in liquid formulations: opportunities for a sustainable future, shows that enough polymers in liquid formulations (PLFs) are used each year to fill Wembley Stadium 32 times – and the paints market is the largest, by volume. Fortunately, leftover liquid paint can be turned back into high quality paint for reuse without much technical challenge. In fact, several remanufacturing schemes already exist in the UK – but we need a plan that makes sure this happens nationwide.

We’re calling for three simple action points from UK and local governments:

  1. Provide more support to paint recycling initiatives to reduce wastage of reusable paints
  2. Make it easier for consumers to recycle paints no matter where they live
  3. Directly invest in research programmes for sustainable alternatives for PLFs

You can help make sure government is paying attention to this issue by writing to your elected representative today, and asking them to support our #PaintStashers campaign on social media, and raise the issue with government.

Simply fill in your name and details below, and you will be able to review a pre-written email to send directly to your elected representative. If you'd like, you can also personalise the email to include information about your own experiences and knowledge on this topic.

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Privacy Statement explains in general terms how we seek to comply with data privacy laws and regulations, including but not limited to the General Data Protection Regulation.