Innovative paint recycling #madeinsandwell

Our #madeinsandwell Monday star this week is Paint360, an innovative paint recycling company based in Cradley Heath.

Paint360 makes brand new paint from waste paint. But it doesn’t just collect waste paint and reuse it to make it into the same product. The company creates value-added bespoke paint solutions, including a range of specialist products for social housing, such as a full mould-treatment package.

Paint 360 is innovative because its products become part of a circular economy rather than a traditional linear economy that makes, uses and then just disposes of products.Paint 360

A circular economy keeps resources in use for as long as possible and extracts the maximum value from them by recovering and regenerating products or materials at the end of each service life.

As the team discovered when they launched Paint360 in 2013, it’s not easy to re-engineer paint. But despite the challenges the business has grown around 40 per cent year on year since its launch. It now leads the way for commercial paint recycling to the trade.

Each can of Paint360’s paint is comprised of a minimum of 80 to 95 per cent recycled paint (depending on the product) so a maximum of only 20 per cent of ingredients ever needs to be added. This means the efficiency of the product is high, and every can is a low-carbon product.

With 95 per cent recycled content, Paint360’s contract emulsion (Void) competes with premium brands on quality and price. It has been calculated (and independently verified) that, per litre, it saves enough embedded carbon to run a transit van for five miles carbon-free.

Managing director Lee Cole said: “There were 67,000,000 litres of waste paint generated in the UK last year. We are the first company to fully commercialise paint recycling and we want to make an impact on these numbers.”

Paint 360_Virgin Voom
Left to right: David Francis, technical director; Caron Moore, office manager and Lee Cole, managing director

As well as the significant environmental benefits of its products, Paint360 provides social benefits to the local area and local economy. Its socially focused business model, for example, is committed to employing local young people and people who have been unemployed long term.

Since its launch Paint360 has helped more than 35 young people into full-time work, employing 19 directly. All of its directly employed staff have received bespoke and NVQ training, with their development plans reviewed quarterly.

“As a company we are incredibly proud of the continued personal growth of our staff,” said Lee. “We believe that being situated in Sandwell offers the company an advantage as there is a large resource of young people with great potential and with manufacturing in their blood.”

Not only is the company continuing to grow but it has also received several awards, including both the Interserve & SHIFT sustainable supplier 2016 award and the acclaimed Virgin Voom award in 2016, which led to a team member spending time with Sir Richard Branson on his island in the Virgin Isles.

Paint360’s long-term target is now to make other products using waste materials as the source of ingredients. Good luck Paint360: keep up the great work for the environment and for Sandwell!

#madeinsandwell Monday is a celebration of the talent and diversity of businesses in our borough. If you’re interested in being considered for a #madeinsandwell Monday profile, read this.