New beginnings for old paint! Remanufacturing hub launched in Cambridgeshire

11/12/2015 Return to news archive

Today, Friday 11 December 2015, AkzoNobel with Community RePaint, have launched the first UK paint remanufacturing hub for social reuse at the Cambridgeshire Community Reuse and Recycling Network (CCORRN) in March, Cambridgeshire. The hub was formally opened by the local MP for North East Cambridgeshire, Steven Barclay, with other representatives.

The technology behind the remanufacturing process has been developed by NewLife Paints Ltd and, through AkzoNobel’s ongoing sponsorship, has been licensed and funded to the Community RePaint Network. The process enables leftover and surplus or end of line paint to be collected and then remanufactured into new containers, with certain additions to ensure its longevity and quality. The Cambridgeshire Community RePaint scheme, at CCORRN, was selected to be the test bed for the new technology because of the established ongoing partnership between CCORRN, Cambridgeshire County Council and Amey, the council’s PFI waste management contractor.

Each year in the UK, up to 50 million litres of paint is thrown away either through landfill disposal or via incineration which is an expensive process. This paint is leftover or surplus to requirements from residents, paint manufacturers, DIY retailers, maintenance companies and waste contractors.

Over 50% of this paint is normally reusable and currently 75 Community RePaint schemes across the UK collect some of this paint and make it available for social reuse through community groups and families on low incomes. There is much more that needs to be done to prevent good, reusable paint from being wasted. The Cambridgeshire remanufacturing hub has plans to triple its capacity, collecting and remanufacturing a range of emulsions in neutral and pastel shades. This new remanufactured paint will then be sold at low cost to the community for social benefit.

Martin Pearse, Community RePaint Network Manager, said:

“Left over paint is a challenge for our industry due to its volume and disposal cost. But with our new remanufacturing hub, we are able to show how such paint can be transformed with the value captured and put to social good. This is an exciting next step for the wider paint industry as it continues its progress towards becoming more sustainable. We are delighted to work with AkzoNobel and Newlife Paints Ltd and applaud their foresight in bringing this technology from its R&D status to commercialisation. We look forward to rolling this out elsewhere.”

Marcus Pheasant, CCORRN CEO explained:

“Having the first hub here at CCORRN in March, Cambridgeshire is a tremendous accolade for the town and the county. It is testament to the small hardworking team of staff and volunteers who are constantly striving to improve access to reuse and recycling of resources for our community. We could not have done any of this without the support of our team, Cambridgeshire County Council, Amey, Community RePaint, AkzoNobel and Newlife Paints Ltd.  We are looking forward to helping more people make their community’s lives a little more colourful.”

Paint can be taken to Cambridgeshire County Council’s Household Recycling Centres at Witchford, March, Milton, St Neots, Thriplow and Wisbech where it will be collected for recycling. By the end of 2017, AkzoNobel and Community RePaint intend to have four hubs across the UK processing around 500,000 litres of paint.

David Cornish, Global Sustainability Manager (Resource Efficiency), AkzoNobel, commented:

“AkzoNobel is delighted that after a lot of hard work by all involved, the first Community RePaint remanufacturing centre is now operational in the UK. This is a major milestone in our 22-year relationship with Community RePaint, which will allow them to reuse even more leftover paint to brighten up local communities. In the future we aim to increase the number of these hubs across the UK, helping to save valuable resources and create a more circular economy for the paint industry.”

The Community RePaint Network is sponsored by AkzoNobel and managed by independent resource efficiency consultancy, Resource Futures – a partnership that goes back 22 years.

Sam Reeve, Operations Director, Resource Futures, added:

“We are delighted that the remanufacturing hub is now open and at the same time, ringing in the changes both for the paint and resource management industries. It is a first step towards a more circular economy for paint. Such developments don’t need to be big to start with; it’s the small actions that often have better impact that can be built on. It’s also a fantastic example of collaboration between several partners to deliver positive change.”