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Community / Paint recycling scheme aims to grow circular economy

Project manager Jane Matthews.

SHETLAND Arts has launched a new paint recycling scheme, where people can donate unwanted paint – or buy some in Mareel.

Collection points at Mareel and the council’s waste management facility at Gremista enable people with leftover paint to donate it to the scheme. People can then buy it for small projects.

Shetland Arts said this diverts the paint from entering the waste stream and provides a “low-cost alternative source of paint for smaller projects at home, school or for community groups”.

Currently, an estimated 50 million litres of paint every year in the UK goes to landfill or for incineration.

In Shetland it gets sent south, at a cost, or if paint gets disposed of in household bins it ends up in the incinerator.

Project manager Jane Matthews, of Shetland Arts, explained: “We check each container is in good condition and that the paint inside is not solid or gone-off, we stir it up and then use a clean brush to take a sample of the paint which we use to coat the lid of the container, so it’s completely clear what colour it is.

“We then add our own label with the date and how full the container is and a price, based on £2/litre. Then it’s ready for re-sale from our new sales point at Mareel.

“So, for just a few pounds, you can get perfectly good paint for any DIY or craft project, knowing that you’re doing your bit for sustainability and re-use.”

Only non-hazardous paint that can be re-used is accepted, so anything with a CHIP/CLP hazard symbol on it will have to be disposed of separately at Gremista.

The team is happy to accept emulsion, gloss, eggshell, satin, undercoat, primer, floor paint, masonry paint, exterior paint, varnish and wood-stain, as long as it is least a third full.

The sales point at Mareel will be open for business from tomorrow (Wednesday).

The scheme, which part of the national Community RePaint Network, is an element of Shetland Arts’ new Creative Sustainable Futures project. This also includes the newly opened tool library.

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