Let us paint a more colorful future through reuse

Since October 2021, City of Copenhagen, Amager Resource Center (ARC), and Paint it Forward have collected almost 2 tons of water-based paint residues for reuse at Vermlandsgade recycling station.

Photo shows five buckets of used paint at a sorting table at a recycling station. There is a colourful painting in the background painted using the recycled paint.
Water-based paint collected for reuse

The Paint it Forward initiative gives the residue paint a second life by donating it to social organisation, art projects and citizens in need. Paint it Forward is experiencing a great demand for the reused paint.

“By reusing residue paint we convert an unused resource into a better quality of life for citizens in need. We are met with great gratitude by the receivers, when they learn that they can get fine usable paint for free” - Lea Arentoft Moltke-Leth, co-founder of Paint It Forward

In addition to paint from Vermlandsgade recycling station in Copenhagen, Paint it Forward receives paint from Flügger and a number of private painters in the capital area.

From 1st. January 2023, City of Copenhagen, ARC, and Paint it Forward expand the collection of reusable paint via a new partnership agreement. The goal is to make the many water-based paint residues generated around the city available to citizens, artists and local initiatives. It is both good for the environment and for the quality of life for Copenhagen citizens.

“City of Copenhagen has set ambitious goals to increase reuse. Every time we reuse our used products instead of purchasing new ones there is an environmental benefit. And we believe that partnerships with initiatives such as Paint it Forward is the best way to promote the circular economy” – Merete Kristoffersen, Head of Division, Technical and Environmental Administration, City of Copenhagen.

So far, the results indicate that an annual amount of more than 10 tonnes of water-based paint residues from the recycling stations in Copenhagen can be collected for reuse. This is a large amount of paint residue that ends up as waste every year, even though it is fully usable.