Washington Legislature Passes PaintCare® Bill, Governor’s Signature Expected

The Washington Legislature has passed a bill that would bring the PaintCare program to its state. The legislation, HB 1652, An Act Relating to Paint Stewardship, mandates the establishment of the ACA- and industry-conceived platform for the proper and effective management of post-consumer paint. The bill, introduced in January 2019, was passed by the Washington House and Senate late last month and was sent to the Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on April 28. He is expected to sign the bill into law.

Upon enactment, PaintCare would be required to submit by May 20, 2020 — or within one year of the effective date of the bill, whichever comes later — a state program implementation plan. Paint manufacturers that do not participate in the program will be barred from selling architectural paint in the state.

When enacted, Washington would join Oregon, California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Minnesota, Maine, Colorado, and the District of Columbia, all of which have implemented PaintCare.

ACA created PaintCare, a 501(c)(3) organization whose sole purpose is to ensure effective operation and efficient administration of paint product stewardship programs, on behalf of all architectural paint manufacturers in the United States. PaintCare undertakes the responsibility for ensuring an environmentally sound and cost-effective program by developing and implementing strategies to reduce the generation of post-consumer architectural paint; promoting the reuse of post-consumer architectural paint; and providing for the collection, transport, and processing of post-consumer architectural paint using the hierarchy of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” and proper disposal.

PaintCare is designed to relieve a considerable financial burden on local governments, which currently funds these programs. The program’s success has been so widespread that many state officials and local governments dealing with leftover paint are interested in bringing the program to their states. One of ACA’s goals is to make this legislation consistent across all states so that program implementation can truly be nationally coordinated, and manufacturers and consumers of paint do not have differing programs across state lines.

ACA and its industry are committed to finding a viable solution to the issue of post-consumer paint, which is often the number one product, by volume and cost, coming into Hazardous Household Waste (HHW) programs. PaintCare has had resounding success in the nine jurisdictions in which program operations have been implemented. The program’s success has been so widespread that many state officials and local governments dealing with leftover paint are interested in bringing the program to their states.

Notably, funding for the program collected via an assessment fee will cover the cost of all paint — not just new paint sold, but all the legacy paint already in consumers’ basements and garages. The assessment would also go toward consumer education and program outreach, as well as administrative costs. ACA believes that consumer education is paramount with this type of program since paint is a consumable product.

ACA maintains that manufacturers do not produce paint to be thrown away, but rather, to be used up. To work toward a goal of post-consumer paint waste minimization, the consumer must be engaged. PaintCare’s educational program does not just focus on recycling and proper management of unwanted paint, but on buying the right amount of paint and taking advantage of reuse opportunities that can help reduce the generation of leftover paint in the first place.

Contact ACA’s Heidi McAuliffe for more information.

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