Until very recently it has been illegal to mix leftover paint for reuse without applying and paying for a special license from SEPA. At first glance this might seem a reasonable precaution (after all most conventional paints are pretty nasty) but it has in fact been hampering the efforts of community recycling organisations. Some of these organisations specialise in paint reuse and have had to sell or give away used tins/pots of paint on an individual basis. These organisations can now mix, store and distribute suitable paints in a single container which will allow them to better plan their reuse activities and presumably offer their services on a much larger scale than was previously possible.
Prior to this change young families might have picked up half a tin of “Dorset Cream”
But, if it didn’t cover the walls of their nursery, they might have to paint the other half “Sudbury Yellow“.
Just imagine the scene.
The organisation most affected by the change is RePaint Scotland which has, unsurprisingly, welcomed the move. Their spokesperson Maureen Menzies said:
“This is welcome news indeed. It is not only a tremendous cost saving for RePaint Scotland but means we can go ahead and bulk up our recycled paint, as can those other organisations who want to top up half full tins, knowing that we are all compliant with SEPA regulations.”
In case you were thinking this is all a bit of fuss over nothing, take a look at the figures:
In 2007 the Community RePaint national network:
- collected 450,000 litres of paint from householders and businesses (which otherwise would have ended up going to waste)
- with a market value of over £1.75 million
- redistributed over 250,000 litres of paint to community groups, charities, voluntary organisations and people in social need.
I think the amounts involved are pretty impressive and really help justify the change in the regulatory stance.