What is it? 

Oil-based paint contain petroleum products that can be dangerous to people and the environment. The use of oil-based paint has declined as the quality of Acrylic paint improved. Acrylic latex paints are water soluble which makes them easier and safer to clean up.  

What is the issue? 

Paint can contain volatile chemicals that can trigger headaches, allergies, asthmatic reactions, and put increased stress on vital organs such as the heart.  Paints can be source of indoor air pollution. Conventional paints release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) as they dry. VOCs from solvent and paint emissions contribute to harmful ozone formation and a secondary pollutant called peroxyacetyl nitrate which contributes to the formation of smog. Low VOC paints are becoming more available to the public. 

Where can it go? 

The Product Care paint program contracts with SARCAN to collect paint for recycling and reuse. The program is funded by a fee that is charged when the paint is purchased. Check out our Waste Reduction Hub for a location near to you. 

What happens after? 

If the paint you bring back to SARCAN is still in good quality, they will put it on the free reuse shelf for other members of the community. In 2015, 20 percent of the paint collected was reused. High quality latex paint is sorted and recycled into new paint. This paint is much more environmentally friendly than new paint and is identical in qualityOil-based paint is typically used as a secondary fuel source. 

How can I reduce? 

  • Only buy the amount of paint you will need. 

  • Painting more than one room the same colour will likely lead to less leftover paint. Similarly, neutral colours are less likely to spark the violent urge to repaint before it's needed. 

  • Look for recycled and low VOC paint.