New investment ensures Crown Paints makes the most of waste

Crown Paints has ramped up its waste reduction capability with a major investment in new plant.


The UK paint manufacturer is supporting the activities of its award-winning social enterprise scheme NIMTECH on site at its Lancashire plant with the introduction of new granulating machinery.


The plant converts old paint containers into a new type of material, which can then be reprocessed to make garden benches, planters and other street furniture.


NIMTECH, a social enterprise providing employment opportunities for the hard to reach and long-term unemployed, has played a key role in Crown’s sustainability programme – providing the business with waste recovery and recycling services across the UK.


Mark Lloyd, Sustainability Manager at Crown Paints, said: “The granulator adds a new dimension to our capabilities with NIMTECH – enabling the team to prepare on site all used plastic containers, ready for reprocessing.


“It granulates the plastic containers into small pieces, which are bagged and then sent off site for reconstituting into new plastic products.


“Of major environmental benefit is the fact that the plastic containers no longer need to be transported off site in bulk to be granulated, therefore removing the large-scale transport and mileage implications for thousands of containers.”


Crown Paints originally introduced the NIMTECH partnership to its Darwen headquarters in 2012 as part of its award-winning Earthbalance® sustainability programme, launched in 2008.


NIMTECH works closely with the manufacturing team on site to ensure the maximum amount of waste can be re-used and recycled and the partnership was extended to the city’s manufacturing plant in Hull earlier this year.


Earthbalance® is focused on changing the way Crown Paints does business in terms of social responsibility, the environment and the economy.

The initiative has won a string of awards – most recently the Sustainability accolade at the Lloyds Banks 2015 National Business Awards – and has a meaningful impact in areas including the support of young people/apprenticeships, carbon reduction and the ethical sourcing of materials.


The partnership with NIMTECH also supports the circular economy, a key element of Earthbalance®. This represents a move away from just making, using and disposing of goods and instead keeping them in use for as long as possible, and then recovering and regenerating the associated products and materials accordingly.


NIMTECH also plays an important part in the Kick Out The Can scheme which Crown Paints runs annually. Under the initiative, which takes place around Easter, homeowners are invited to return old paint containers to their local Crown Decorating Centre. The containers and any remaining paint inside are recycled, with the paint then donated to help brighten community projects nationwide.


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Picture Caption, left to right; Rachel Demaine, Environmental Sustainability Manager, David Bowker of the social enterprise NIMTECH, and Crown Paints’ Waste Manager Ian Coote.