Do your part to reduce paint waste by following these simple steps:
Buy the Right Amount of Paint
Nationally, 10% of all paint purchased in the United States becomes leftover. Each leftover liquid gallon costs $8 to collect, transport, and recycle. Save yourself and your community money by purchasing the right amount of paint using the Benjamin Moore & Co Paint Calculator.
Buy Recycled Paint
There are a wide range of manufacturers now offering high quality recycled latex paint. Green Seal certifies that the coating products you purchase meet both recycled-content standards and the performance standards set by the Master Painters Institute (MPI). Find out more at Green Seal Standards. If virgin paint must be purchased, consider brands with low or no volatile organic compound (VOC) contents.
Store Your Paint Properly
If your project is complete and you still have a fair amount of paint left over, store it properly for future use. For best results, cover the opening of the paint can with plastic wrap and securely seal the lid. Store in a place with a moderate room temperature to avoid freezing. Be sure to choose a safe location out of reach of children and pets.
Donate Your Leftover Paint
Many Local Habitat for Humanity Affiliates accept leftover paint and other building material donations. Find a Habitat for Humanity ReStore near you to see if they accept donations of leftover paint. The recycling center, household hazardous waste facility, landfill, or other waste management program in your community may operate a swap shop where you can drop off you leftover paint for others to use.
Recycle Your Leftover Paint
Find a Household Hazardous Waste collection center that accepts paint and other coating products near you using the Earth911 search engine.
Dispose Properly When there is no Recycling Available
When recycling is not an option, you can leave a paint can filled with half an inch or less of latex paint to air-dry in a location that children and/or pets cannot access. For tips on how to dispose of larger volumes of paint, please see the PaintCare website.
Visit PSI’s paint project page and learn more about PSI's efforts to promote paint stewardship programs, view recent press articles, legislation, and find other resources on this issue.
Contact Your Legislator
You can also contact your state and local representative and tell them directly that they should sponsor legislation that would create a more robust paint recycling program in your state. If you are unsure of you legislator, check out the Library of Congress's website.
* These steps were developed in consensus with stakeholders in the PSI facilitated Paint Product Stewardship Initiative.
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