Did you know that an estimated 50 million litres of the 320 million litres of paint sold in the UK each year go to waste? This paint is either thrown away or stored in homes or garages despite over 50% of it still being usable.
Community RePaint is a UK wide paint reuse network, sponsored by Dulux, that aims to collect this leftover paint and redistribute it to benefit individuals, families, communities and charities in need at an affordable cost. The network is run on a day to day basis by Resource Futures, an environmental consultancy. The network is made up of over 65 schemes and in 2018 redistributed over 317,600 litres of paint. No two schemes are the same, varying in size, operational set up and motivational drivers but they all have the same vision to create communities where everyone has the opportunity to brighten their spaces and their lives.
Our paint has helped local groups and charities refresh shared spaces and create colourful murals for the community; enabled people on low income to redecorate their homes at low cost; and provided employment, training and volunteer opportunities building valuable skills and experience.
The Community RePaint network was formed in 1993. The potential for the network was first realised in 1992 during a pilot project in Leeds. It was called the Waste Wagon project and was run by the Special Collections Research Group set up by Leeds City Council, to address issues with household hazardous waste. The group included representatives from a number of organisations, including paint manufacturers, DIY retailers and environmental organisations. The Waste Wagon project found that we tend to store large volumes of leftover, reusable paint in our sheds, garages and cupboards. As part of the project, this leftover paint was collected from householders, along with other DIY materials and hazardous items. At the end of the project, the paint was given to local charities and groups, which highlighted the demand for affordable paint amongst these organisations, as well as a need amongst individuals and families on low income.
From these two activities, the collection and redistribution of leftover paint, the model for the Community RePaint network was born. It was established by Resource Futures with support from Dulux who became our sole sponsor in 2008. The first two Community RePaint schemes were set up in Leeds and Ealing in 1993. Today we have expanded to over 70 schemes covering all corners of the United Kingdom.
In 2015 we launched our first paint remanufacturing centre at our scheme in March, Cambridgeshire, which was quickly followed by our second on the Wirral in 2016. The remanufacturing centres have allowed us to take the next step in paint reuse – reprocessing more leftover paint, ensuring its quality and longevity, and then making it available in new Community RePaint branded containers to community organisations (especially those with premises to decorate) and families on low incomes. Our remanufactured paint is now available at some of our schemes or can be ordered directly from us.
Looking to the future, we have ambitious targets to increase our redistribution to over 1.5 million litres of paint in 2020, allowing us to colour over 1 million lives across the UK.
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About Resource Futures
Resource Futures is an independent environmental consultancy business. Resource Futures works in partnership with a range of clients from local authorities and government bodies to small businesses and multi-national companies, as well as third sector organisations and community groups. Resource Futures is an employee-owned, non-profit-distributing company with a 25-year heritage of environmental improvement, and is a certified B-Corp.
Dulux is the UK’s leading paint brand and believes that colour can have a positive impact on people’s lives. It aims to inspire people to create beautiful living spaces and offers a range of paints and services to achieve this. Dulux is committed to creating a brighter future by delivering more value from fewer resources across its supply chain, operations and beyond.