Challenges in the Adoption of Recycled Paints

February 26, 2009

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Facility managers are increasingly turning to recycled paints and coatings for their building maintenance projects, recognizing the cost and environmental benefits of using these eco-friendly alternatives to ordinary paints. The performance of recycled paint is at par with standard paint but brings huge benefits in zero waste disposal, lower environmental hazards and lower transportation costs.

Despite this change in mindset for facility managers and building owners, however, the adoption rate of recycled paints and coatings is still very slow relative to the increasing urgency to prevent further environmental harm. There exists a huge gap in linking recycled paint manufacturers and the target users.

To bridge this marketing gap, government organizations work closely with recycled paint suppliers to harness the capabilities of the Internet as a powerful marketing medium. Through Internet campaigns, recyclers and users have established linkages together. One best example is Michigan’s sponsoring of an online directory listing for recycled materials suppliers and manufacturers, where Internet users can browse the list and link up with suppliers listed in the directory.

To market recycled paints and coatings further, the EPA joined with environmental agencies and conducted a performance comparison of recycled paints and ordinary paints. The results for recycled paint were generally positive, such as its good performance in metal surface applications, user satisfaction and willingness to reuse, strength and resistance to various environment conditions, and cost benefits. There were minor constraints such as wood surface non-adherence and color match problems encountered during the comparative tests. The constraints were later addressed by recycled paint manufacturers, proving that in general, recycled paints can be as marketable as standard paints in terms of performance.

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