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The future of paint is green

In the light of growing climate change concerns and youth eco-activists like Greta Thunberg calling us all to task, we’re increasingly taking more and more meaningful steps to reduce our impact on the environment.

In the light of growing climate change concerns and youth eco-activists like Greta Thunberg calling us all to task, we’re increasingly taking more and more meaningful steps to reduce our impact on the environment. This is happening across all sectors of industry. The marked shift by no means excludes the very coatings we apply to the walls, roofs and surfaces of our homes, businesses, factories, machinery and modes of transport, and covers anything from the way these paints are manufactured to the substances they contain.

With its leaps and bounds in green technology, Plascon is leading the charge with a phalanx of eco-wise coatings. The first of these innovations is the brand’s introduction of APEO free formulations.

APEO compounds are bio-accumulative compounds which, when released into the environment, can be toxic to human and wildlife, especially marine life. Conventional roof paints contain APEOs that, over time, leach into waterways through rain and drainage, and eventually contaminate the soil, water tables, rivers and ultimately, our oceans. APEOs that accumulate in water systems become toxic to aquatic organisms. In large doses, APEOs can even disrupt hormonal systems in humans.

According to Dr Kevin Winter from the University of Cape Town’s Future Water Organisation: “APEOs found in freshwater systems are toxic to aquatic organisms. In large doses, APEOs even have the potential to disrupt human hormonal systems. APEOs are discharged into freshwater systems from stormwater runoff and sewage works. They are found in a variety of products including paints, packaging and cleaning agents.”

By choosing to use APEO-free products, you are contributing to a safer, healthier and more sustainable planet. Plascon TradePro Roof & More is Africa’s first roof paint to be entirely free of the harmful APEO chemicals. It has thus become the default choice for conscious consumers.
Water, although a reusable resource, still needs to be treated responsibly and conserved in order to avoid pollution and shortages. South Africa is amongst the most water-scarce countries in the world and one way to use water more responsibly – and save more money on your monthly municipal bill – is to harvest rainwater from roofs. Since Plascon TradePro Roof & More is APEO-free it is safe for the harvesting of rainwater for non-potable use.

Another threat to environmental conservation is the plastic pandemic. Six decades ago, mass production of plastics began. This has since produced 8.3 billion tons of plastic, of which an estimated 90% is not recycled, with approximately 8 million tons ending up in oceans annually.

Given the excessive life expectancy of plastic products, almost every piece of plastic created and sent to a landfill or dumped in the environment is still in existence. This puts an immense strain on the environment and its inhabitants, increasing the urgency to reduce plastic consumption and wastes, as well as to find sustainable ways to recycle existing plastic products. To honour this call, Plascon has introduced black buckets to its premium range, which are made of up to 70% upcycled material.

Upcycling is a means by which we can reduce the amount of solid waste entering landfills and polluting the environment. The materials of old paint buckets are harvested to produce new ones of equal quality with a lower manufacturing impact. Through this process, we can reduce carbon emissions by extending the shelf life of used materials thereby reducing the energy and natural resources needed for new materials to be created. By upcycling, not only do we stop more longwearing pollutants going to landfills, but also reduce the environmental footprint, having saved the cost of manufacturing, packaging and transporting new materials.

These upcycled buckets provide the same structural integrity and lend a new air of distinction to the Plascon premium range, which includes Plascon Micatex, Double Velvet Pure, Cashmere, Velvaglo Water-Based, Nuroof Cool and Wall & All. The move brings consumers the renowned and trusted quality of these brands along with the peace of mind of knowing that they’re making the most responsible choice for the environment.

Much of environmental conservation and ethical practice involves correcting ingrained perceptions and innovating so that the same quality can be provided while reducing environmental impact. It used to be that solvent-based paints were the preferred choice in coatings, favoured for their perceived durability, especially in enamel paints. But these solvents can be more demanding in terms of application, cleaning and disposal and most importantly, they are more harmful to the environment.

There has been a global shift toward water-based products, which offer equal, if not better, quality with added benefits. These perks include faster drying times, lower associated costs and minimal impact to the environment and the health and well-being of consumers.

Plascon Velvaglo Water-Based Enamel is just one product in the extensive range of water-based products offered by Plascon. Leading the field in water-based alternatives, Plascon Velvaglo Water-Based Enamel is prized for its superior strength, satin finish and versatility. Formulated with a unique water-based acrylic hybrid called AquatoughTM, Plascon Velvaglo Water-Based Enamel offers all the toughness of a solvent-based enamel. This includes UV, flaking and stain resistance, with non-drip properties, while remaining environmentally friendly and non-toxic.

Of particular concern with conventional solvent-based products, is the associated risk of VOC emission. This has become a major societal concern with VOC pollution on the rise.

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are chemicals emitted from production processes and common household items. These chemicals accumulate in the air and can have short- and long-term adverse health effects.

Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. In an effort to combat this threat, Plascon has optimised the formulations of their premium brands, which now all boast zero VOC recipes. This means that there are no VOC emissions when using these products, thereby protecting the environment as well as your home and family.

But Plascon didn’t stop there. Not only have they removed VOCs from their premium products, they’ve also further engineered them to remove VOCs from the air too.

One VOC in particular, known as formaldehyde, presents a growing cause for concern. Emitted from common household items, such as upholstery, carpeting and household cleaning agents, formaldehyde has the potential to pollute the air and compromise our health.

In 2020, Plascon pioneered a first for the South African market – a paint with Air Purifying Technology. Plascon Double Velvet Pure has the ability to actively improve the quality of indoor air by removing Formaldehyde from the air that you breathe, making your home and workspace a safer environment for you, your co-workers and family. A special compound in the formula removes and permanently transforms the formaldehyde in the air into undetectable, harmless water vapour, which is safe for breathing.

The reengineered product retains all of its premium quality, strength and elegance as well as its existing leading technologies such as the Stain BarrierTM, to make cleaning away life’s messier moments a breeze; Silver ProtectTM to inhibit mould and bacterial growth; and BreatheasyTM to minimise odour and ensure cleaner, breathable air.

Plascon continues to innovate, with a focus on developing pioneering products while being conscious of their environmental impact. These changes affirm Plascon’s re-orientation and refreshed commitment to focus on people and purpose.

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