PaintCare, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, was created by the American Coatings Association (ACA), who, working with state and local government stakeholders, passed the first paint stewardship law in the United States in the state of Oregon in 2009. This legislation provided for a pilot program for an industry-led program to manage postconsumer (leftover) paint. The program in Oregon was made permanent in June 2013.
PaintCare has also set up programs in California and Connecticut and is planning programs for four other states that have passed similar legislation: Rhode Island, Vermont, Minnesota and Maine. We expect similar legislation to be introduced in several other states in the next few years.
Prior to PaintCare, the best options for residents to recycle or dispose of unwanted paint were government-run household hazardous waste (HHW) facilities and special one-day “round-up” events with limited days, hours and locations. In states with PaintCare, many new paint drop-off locations are established, mostly at paint retailers who volunteer to take back paint. These retailers take back paint during regular business hours making paint recycling and disposal much more convenient for the public.
In parts of the U.S. that previously instructed people to dry out old latex paint and put it in the trash, we now encourage people to take it to a PaintCare drop-off site so we can sort it and recycle more paint. Post-consumer paint can be collected for reuse, recycling, energy recovery, or safe disposal, but doing so requires public awareness and a convenient and effective infrastructure that exceeds local government budgets and capacity in many parts of the United States.
The paint manufacturing industry supported the laws passed in the seven states because these laws enable the paint industry to implement a collection program by providing a level playing field among manufacturers and retailers. These laws also provide a sustainable financing system and an anti-trust exemption for activities pursuant to the program.
The program is funded through fees on each container of architectural paint in states with paint stewardship programs. Budgets and fees are set on a state-by-state basis; so far these fees have been the same in each state with a program: 35 cents, 75 cents or $1.60 per container, depending on the container size.
American Coatings Association
The American Coatings Association (ACA) is a non-profit industry trade association advancing the needs of the paint and coatings industry through advocacy and programs that support environmental protection, product stewardship, health, safety, and the advancement of science and technology.
Product Care is a non-profit industry association managing product stewardship programs for household hazardous and special waste on behalf of its members across Canada. Product Care's programs help protect the environment by diverting leftover and end of life products from landfills, waterways, and sewers. Product Care provides consumers with a collection system network for the products it manages. The collected products are then reused or recycled where possible.
Product Stewardship Institute
The Product Stewardship Institute, Inc. (PSI) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the health and environmental impacts of consumer products. Founded in 2000, PSI brings together key stakeholders with varying interests to develop product end-of-life solutions in a collaborative manner, with a focus on having manufacturers assume primary financial and managerial responsibility. With a robust membership base of 47 state governments and 250 local governments, as well as partnerships with over 90 companies, organizations, and non-U.S. governments, PSI advances both voluntary programs and legislation to promote industry-led product stewardship initiatives.