Unwanted Paint Priming the Way in Road Construction 

Unwanted Paint Priming the Way in Road Construction 

The humble can of household paint is at the heart of an Australian research mission to divert 90 percent of the country’s unwanted paint out of landfill and vital waterways and into our budding circular economy.

 “The circular economy revolution isn’t going to just happen – Australia needs to get out there and make it work,” Paintback’s General Manager of Research and Development Dr Salwan Al-Assafi said.

Paintback is the official product stewardship program for Australian paint, which is supported by paint manufacturers and funded by a 15c-per-litre levy on paint products, which helps to fund important research into innovative uses for the reclaimed paint.

It aims to recover 90 percent of unwanted paint and packaging it collects and transform them for use in Australia’s circular economy – where products are re-used or repurposed for other manufacturing or industry processes to keep them circulating instead of being discarded permanently.

“Thanks to Australians, there is already a local circular economy for paint, but we want to expand it by creating new products, putting them back into circulation and creating new markets for Australia’s unwanted paint,” Dr Al-Assafi said.

ARRB project lead Dr James Grenfell (left) and Paintback’s Dr Salwan Al-Assafi at work on the reclaimed paint project in ARRB’s transport research labs in Melbourne, Australia.

“We want the humble household paint to become a showcase for the circular economy.”

To do this, Paintback has partnered with the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) – the National Transport Research Organisation. Together they are researching how reclaimed water-based paint can have a beneficial use in road infrastructure applications.

ARRB Principal Professional, Sustainability and Material Performance, Dr. James Grenfell said the project would investigate the use of reclaimed water-based paint in the following applications:

  • Rejuvenation type products involving bitumen emulsions
  • Stabilisation of granular materials
  • Dust suppressants
  • Non-structural concrete for low-risk road applications

“There is the strong potential that this project will develop materials solutions and blends that can be up-scaled and produced at the plant scale with a view to being introduced into general infrastructure construction and rehabilitation works,” Dr. Grenfell said.

Last year alone, Australians returned 9.3 million kg of paint and pails to Paintback, which runs more than 160 permanent collection points across the country to collect the paint and ensure it is disposed of safely or converted for other uses, like creating an alternative fuel for kilns, or extracting water from latex paint for use in industry.

Paintback research shows that, while one in three Australians have old or leftover paint at home, more than half (54 percent) of them didn’t know there were organisations to help them dispose of paint safely. Given that 5% of paint purchased each year ends up surplus to requirements, this isn’t just an issue for the environment, it’s a big opportunity as well.

“If we can make Australia’s unwanted paint a hero of our circular economy, we help protect the environment, reduce the amount of paint in landfill, and support local innovation,” Dr Al-Assafi said.

Find out more about Paintback here.

Find out more about ARRB’s research labs here

Latest News

Meet the Finalists of the IRF Start-up Label 2022 Edition 

Transforming mobility requires more than just technology and infrastructure. Transforming mobility requires innovation on all fronts: in the way we think, we plan, we design, and we deliver and manage transport systems.   The International Road Federation (IRF) believes that one way to…

Read more

Newsletter – Issue Nº 6 2022

EDITORIAL Dear IRF Network, We are pleased to share with you the latest news and upcoming events from the International Road Federation and its members.  To stay even more up-to-date, follow us on our social media channels! IRF Annual Conference…

Read more

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and follow us on our social media channels!