On November 29th Harris Paints will kick off a paint recycling initiative as part of its Customer Appreciation Day. The company is asking the public to bring in any leftover water-based paint to its Wildey location, so that the old paint can be upcycled to create a good quality coating that will be donated towards beautification projects around Barbados.

Remarkably, Harris Paints will accept any brand of water-based paint but cannot recycle oil paints, stains and varnishes or old, hardened or contaminated paints.

The recycling of water-based paints, which requires them to be re-blended, adjusted for quality by the addition of new raw materials, and tinting to a common colour, is pretty common outside of the Caribbean”, says Luke Ticknor, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Harris Paints.

“Some countries have Federal or Local government programmes that collect the paint and turn it over to convert into product that is then resold. Others utilize community groups of NGOs to collect the paint and hand it back to the communities for charitable projects” he stated. “Our vision at Harris is to be a pioneer in the Caribbean when it comes to recycling paint. When paint is brought back to be recycled, it reduces waste, keeps paint from being discarded in ways that could be dangerous to our environment and water sources, and, with our approach, generates good paints that we can use to do more beautification projects in needy communities and for charitable organizations.”

To incentivize Barbadians to delve into their cupboards and clear out the paints they have not touched for some time, Harris Paints is offering a $5.00 off voucher for each can received, in addition to their special Christmas deals now on.

Donette Wharton, Retail Services Manager for Harris Paints Barbados, adds “This is a fantastic opportunity for people to declutter before the holidays, and turn their clutter into extra savings on the new paint they will be buying for the season – all while contributing to a project aimed at generating paints for worthy causes”.

The initiative has also caught the interest of local sustainability activist Ashley Lashley, who is helping Harris Paints raise awareness of this innovative concept. However, she points out, “The success of this project really depends on the engagement of the public to provide their leftover paint so they can be regenerated or repurposed and then donated to causes that really need some help. I for one am a great supporter and think this falls very much in line with my mission to protect the environment and work towards a more sustainable world, so am happy to lend my support.” 

This is just one of the sustainability activities being spearheaded by the locally owned Caribbean paint manufacturer which has recently changed to using recyclable plastic cans made of 100% recycled plastic. These new cans offer several benefits according to SVP Ticknor: “Not only is it a good looking can that consumers are more likely to want to reuse, but the lid has a double-snap seal that prevents leaking and keeps the paint fresher for longer. The handle is much more comfortable for lifting and this container features a screw-off tint hole that makes tinting faster and accommodates a unique pour-spout for mess-free filling of roller trays. It is the first of its kind in the Caribbean and is really very innovative”.

In addition to pioneering efforts in recycling and using 100% recycled materials on their cans, this month the company will be turning its attention to what coatings can do to help to reduce the impact of rising temperatures and reduce global warming.

In conjunction with UWI’s Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), who will assist with the testing, the company will be installing two test roofs with very unique, highly solar-reflective and heat-emissive cool roof coating systems, so as to test their effectiveness in local climatic conditions. These coatings are expected to substantially lower the ambient temperature of interior rooms, and reduce the need for air-conditioning, saving energy when applied to residential and commercial buildings. The scientific results of the study are expected to be published in early 2024, with the most effective cooling coat expected to be commercially available shortly thereafter.

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