Eco-friendly paint disposal tips for your business

Eco-friendly paint disposal tips for your business

By Emma Lucey  May 11th, 2022

Sometimes excess paint is inevitable for trade painters and when excess paint can’t be avoided or reused on another job, it needs to be disposed of responsibly. We’ve outlined a few environmentally responsible tips to make it easy for you to implement disposal methods in your workplace.


Evaluating the most common types of waste in your workplace can help to indicate potential changes you can make to improve your environmental footprint. Waste management is not only a practice to protect the environment but can also save your business money and help boost your reputation as being environmentally responsible. 

The waste hierarchy establishes that the most preferred practice when it comes to waste is prevention, followed by reuse and repair, recycling and, lastly, landfill. Preventing paint waste can come down to perfecting your estimates on how much paint will be needed to finish the job. When you do end up with unexpected excess that you can’t reuse on another job, the next best step is to find where to drop it off for recycling or responsible disposal with an organisation that will ensure good environmental outcomes. 

Paintback is an initiative that diverts unwanted paint and paint packaging from landfill, protecting our environment from toxic chemicals and ensuring valuable resources are kept in circulation. Paints and solvents contain chemicals that can contaminate groundwater and endanger human health. Improper disposal such as pouring down drains or gutters is illegal and can cause serious harm to our waterways and the ecosystems that rely on them. Even when disposed into landfill paints and solvents can leach into waterways causing harm to the planet.  

Paintback invests in research and development to find new and innovative uses for unwanted paint and packaging. For example, solvent paint is used as an alternative energy source while water is separated from acrylic paint, with the by-product used in a variety of industrial applications.  

Trade and DIY painters can drop off up to 100 litres of paint or packaging (secured in containers no larger than 20L) per visit to Paintback collection points around Australia. There are currently over 165 Paintback locations and it’s free to drop off. 

Another helpful tip is designating an area in your workplace to store excess paint and packaging. This way you can clearly see how much excess paint you’re purchasing to help you avoid it next time, plus the excess is easier to load in one go for future drop-off. Clear signage can also encourage employees to engage in responsible practices and lead to positive behavioural change in the workplace.   

Read more about eligible products you can drop off. 


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Emma Lucey

Emma brings experience in digital media and communications with a background in several industries such as tourism and hospitality. Prior to joining Planet Ark in 2022, Emma spent 5 years living abroad in London & Amsterdam where she developed a greater interest in the environment and sustainability. Outside of work Emma enjoys gardening, camping and crocheting.

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