By TODD MARVER
firstname.lastname@example.org | As published on ibjonline.com
GDB celebrated Illinois passing legislation that allows consumers to have easier access to return paint at an event at its Nashville facility on Monday, June 12. The Paint Stewardship Act would allow residents to drop off unused paint to specified locations free of charge.
“Now with Illinois passing this legislation, I think it is the best thing that has happened for our state. We’re looking forward to it,” GDB CEO Sanjeev Bagaria said. “Today, 25 percent of the population has the ability to return leftover paint.”
Bagaria explained what GDB does in paint recycling. He said GDB takes raw materials, which are used in paint recycling.
“Any company that makes raw material to manufacture paint, you will always have something that is not up to spec. Any material that has old age or is discontinued, you have two options. You can reuse, recycle or it will go for disposal,” he said.
As far as paint manufacturers, Bagaria said GDB has several plants in the US and should there be any product that is not conforming to the buying customers, GDB will fill those.
“There are times when a brand is discontinued or if there is any type of business change, we take those products,” he said.
Bagaria said there are retailers who have very liberal return policies where you can return the can if you’re not satisfied. He said they get sold for a low price, but not everything gets sold in the stores, and GDB sells this to Walmart.
“The leftover paints at Walmart stores get to our distribution centers. We have millions of gallons in the US of leftover paint. This paint that could be put to good use ends up in landfill. In America, 80 million gallons of paint if they do not have a good solution may end up in landfill,” he said.
Bagaria said one gallon of paint if it goes into landfill has the potential to contaminate water for 50 people throughout the year.
“Imagine when 70 to 80 million gallons of paint goes to landfill. We have handled more than 1.2 billion pounds of paint and raw materials since our inception,” he said.
The legislation had been co-sponsored by State Rep. Charlie Meier (R-Okawville), who represents the 109th District including portions of Bond, Clinton, Madison, St. Clair, and Washington counties.
“This legislation will require paint manufacturers to submit to the Illinois EPA a plan for establishing a used paint collection program within 12 months,” Rep. Meier stated. “Consumers will now be able to recycle or dispose of their unwanted paint safely and also in an environmentally-friendly way.”
Under the Paint Stewardship Act, manufacturers would pay a fee to the IEPA to set up a paint collection site, service or event, allowing residents to drop off unused paint to specific locations free of charge.
These collection sites will be within a 15-mile radius for 90 percent of Illinois residents.
Todd Marver is a member of the Nashville News editorial team, part of the Better Newspapers Inc. media family.
This story also appears in the July 2023 print edition of the Illinois Business Journal.