Sunday, March 3, 2024

This Box Lets You Easily Recycle Your Leftover Paint


More than 85 million gallons of paint go unused every year in the U.S. and at least 90 percent of homes have leftover paint they can’t get rid of responsibly. Up Paint aims to address the issue with the launch of its Up Box.

Up Paint, a Time Magazine “Best Inventions” winner, says the Up Box is a first-of-its-kind solution for responsible recycling of post-consumer water-based paint, providing a sustainable alternative to traditional paint disposal methods combined with an innovative “upcycling” program.

The Up Box is being offered as an easy and fast solution for consumers to ship their used latex or acrylic paint to Up Paint where it’s recycled and turned into new paint.

“We are beyond excited to introduce the Up Box to the market,” Dustin Martin, CEO of Up Paint, said in a statement. “Our team has worked tirelessly to create a product that is both convenient for consumers as well as a sustainable solution for preserving our environment. We believe the Up Box™ is a game-changer in the paint industry, and we are excited to offer our customers an opportunity to participate in a new circular supply chain for paint.”

Up Box
The Up Box is a first-of-its-kind way for consumers to mail back and recycle old paint | Courtesy

The Up Box comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from a single gallon up to five gallons. Each Up Box “kit” comes complete with lid securing clips, packing tape, and a prepaid shipping label. Consumers receive a discount toward a new Up Paint purchased wit their paint return. The company also participates in a zero-carbon offset program to make the take-back program as sustainable as possible.

Up Paint says the new program is just the beginning, with more innovative, earth-kind solutions for the paint industry in development.

The new take-back program builds on Up Paint’s ongoing efforts to rescue 25 million gallons of paint before the end of 2025.

While some paints are made with less toxic ingredients than others, they’re not doing any good in landfills where they can leach toxic chemicals that pollute air and waterways.

Up Paint
Up Paint makes new paint colors from a range of upcycled paints | Courtesy

The EPA has taken measures in recent years to help get paint to proper recycling facilities. California, Oregon, and New York are among a dozen states that now have laws in effect that require paint manufacturers to work with consumers and businesses to recover leftover paint for responsible disposal.

“Right now, there’s a patchwork system of collecting unused paint that varies from state-to-state,” Martin told Fast Company. “But it has created an opportunity for us to upcycle this paint and sell it through our brand.”

For Up Paint, it says it can work with any non-oil paint colors that it receives. It adds pigment to create its signature color range and can blend together a variety of colors to do that.

“From the paints that are collected, we get a sense of what colors are trendy at the moment,” says Martin. “We have a range of neutral colors, like cream and sand, along with several accent colors, like yellow and purple.”

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