How to recycle your paint cans 

Crowns Can Back Scheme

On my instagram a few weeks ago I asked my audience if they recycled their paint cans. It was followed by a lot of interesting conversations in my direct messages. 

The most common topic that people were asking was how exactly do you recycle your empty paint cans? 

  • Do they need to be washed out completely? 
  • Can a small bit of paint still remain in the can? 

I did a bit of research online to see could the answer be found quickly and to my surprise it wasn’t . It all seemed a bit vague. Websites mostly stated that they need to be clean and dry. But the problem is how clean? Does it mean that you have to remove every single drop of paint from the paint tin? 

When I asked people why they might not recycle their paint cans If they didn’t already the most common answers were:

  • I don’t know how 
  • It seems like too much hassle 
  • I don’t know do I need to wash them out and the thoughts of having to do that puts me off.

To remove old paint from a can seems like it would be a very labour intensive job. So I decided I would test it out to see how long it took me. I thought that it would take me hours if I’m honest because of how hard it is to remove the paint from that dreaded dip when you pop the lid back on. 

But to my surprise….. it look less than 5 mins. I soaked it in hot water in the sink for a few minutes before I started and that really made the paint come off with ease. I used a scrapper knife for the outside and that scrapped off pretty easy. 

So do you really need to go this far when you are recyclingyour paint cans? 

I headed down to Crown decorating centre in Cork where theyhave the Can Back scheme. I asked the manager of the Cork Decorating Centre on the Kinsale Road, exactly what was acceptable. 

He informed me that can recycle a paint can as long it hasn’t got paint in it. So it doesn’t have to be cleaned out completely, just as long as no wet paint remains in the can. 

Once you recycle the cans to Crown decorating Centres, they send them to their recycling partner Envirogreen to process for Recycling. Crown decorating centres accept any tin metal or plastic from any Crown Paints manufactured brand they they sell in their store, so that includes Crown, Sandtex, Sadolin and Berger.

How much does it cost? 

When I asked people how much they pay the majority said they pay over €5 to return a empty can. 

If you use the Can Back scheme it’s completely free. 

Crown Recycled 200 tonnes of paint cans in the last 12 months alone. 200 tonnes!!!!

I was interested to see how much weight was 200 tonnes and when I researched it online it was the equivalent to a Locomotive, the heaviest Whale that ever lived, 30 elephants, the Statue of Liberty. That’s a whole lot so paint tins. An empty paint tin is so light, I weighed an empty litre of Crown and it was 156g. 200 tonnes is the equivalent to 1,282,051.28 1 litre cans, that just my estimations though. 

If we say that the average can to recycle cost €5 That could have potentially saved painters and decorators €6,410,256.41Last year in the Uk and Ireland! Not only that it potentially saved 200 tonnes of paint cans ending up in landfill. 

There are 28 Crown Decorating Centres around Ireland. Here is there website its a great one stop shop for everything you need when painting.

Disclaimer; This blog post is in paid partnership with Crown Paints.