3R Group Materials Innovation Manager Harman Sandhu has been focusing on finding solutions for recycled paint.

3R Group Materials Innovation Manager Harman Sandhu.


by Harman Sandhu – Materials Innovation Manager

I recently had the opportunity to present on my work around recycled paint at Australia’s leading waste management industry conference, the Coffs Harbour Waste Conference.

It was a great opportunity to talk about the work we are doing at 3R Group on reimagining solutions for paint and packaging product stewardship in New Zealand. The three-day conference covered a wide range of topics from kerbside recycling to mattress and tyre recycling.

In all it was a very informative and vibrant forum in which to exchange ideas and learn about new and innovative developments in the industry.

The objective of my presentation was to share information on our paint stewardship schemes, with a focus on developing new outflows for collected paint through R&D. It was interesting to see that mine was the only presentation focusing on paint and packaging product stewardship.

3R’s purpose is zero waste to landfill and the research and development aspect of our paint programmes focuses on developing new outflows for water-bourne recycled paint. Some of the potential applications include dust suppression, ADC (alternative daily cover) and cementitious applications.

Our preliminary performance-based work shows that components in paint can improve the ability of water to form droplets and keep surfaces wetter for longer. This is particularly useful for dust suppression at places like worksites, without leaving behind a residue.

We have also developed a recipe for ADC that uses locally-sourced waste materials blended with paint. Our ADC is a slurry-based coating system and once applied dries out as an inert crust and will not leach in the way that paint dumped in landfill can.

At the end of the day our paint programmes are about waste avoidance and resource recovery. They involve design and development of end of life solutions, which fit in with the circular economy and creates new products.

To see my full presentation visit the Coffs Waste Conference website and scroll down to “Product Stewardship – 8 Reimagining solutions for paint and packaging product stewardship“. You can also learn more about our work with Resene and Dulux.