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National Study on Waste Paint in Ireland


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)




September 2018 – December 2018

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Project Overview

The 2014-2020 National Hazardous Waste Management Plan (NHWMP), prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is designed to provide overall direction to decision and policy makers involved in the prevention and management of hazardous waste. The NHWMP includes 27 recommended actions, one of which includes the determination of the level of hazardousness of certain types of waste paint generated within the State.

In October 2018, Sweco was appointed by the EPA to investigate the hazardousness of waste domestic paint products and decorative coatings as outlined in Directive 2004/42/CE (‘the Paint Directive’). The project involved the examination of over 90 paints and varnishes listed in Category 1 of Annex 1 of the Paints Directive used as coatings applied to buildings, their trims and fittings and associated structures for decorative, functional and protective purposes. The project required significant engagement with paint suppliers and manufactures to determine if products were being classified correctly (i.e. hazardous or non-hazardous). This information also highlighted whether the products were compliant with the requirements of REACH (Regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals).

The final report concluded that a significant portion of domestic paint waste can be considered as non-hazardous waste. The data reviewed did indicate however that there was evidence of non-compliance with REACH requirements in relation to Safety Data Sheet content and on that basis it was recommended that formal engagement with the paint industry be undertaken by the relevant regulatory body. This is essential in the promotion of the reuse of waste paint products in the circular economy.

This project was an example of good collaboration with our project partners Miltcon Services Ltd. Maeve English was project manager with Denisa Vu (Sweco Sweden) providing specialist chemical expertise.


Primary Services

  • Environmental Compliance
  • REACH (Regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals)
  • Waste classification

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