Sometimes the smallest invitations lead to the grandest opportunities. In 2012, Photech Environmental Solutions, a company that collects and recycles hazardous waste, was requested to greatly increase their recycled paint processing from Stewardship Ontario; the organization which operated the paint program at that time. Photech Environmental Solutions quickly found a way to revitalize the donated and unwanted paint into a fresh, new middle-grade paint guaranteed to impress with its good quality and affordable price. “It was a new opportunity for us and we welcomed the challenge,” states Jillian Berswick, Marketing and Sales Manager at Loop Recycled Products.
It wasn’t long before Loop Recycled Products was launched. “We amped up production of the paint, designed a label, and pitched it to Walmart,” says Berswick. The popularity of the eco-friendly paint took off and shortly thereafter, Loop Recycled Products acquired a second facility for processing the paint.
Recently, Loop Recycled Products and Photech combined their three facilities into one location on Chippawa Creek Road: the previous PolyOne building. “By amalgamating, we have been able to improve productivity. We now have more space and capacity to make production more efficient and meet the demands of our growing business,” says Berswick.
For the past four years Loop Recycled Products has been turning your leftover paint into an intermediate level product. “In terms of quality, it is a combination of low-grade and high-grade paints,” says Berswick. “Recycled products are sometimes met with criticism. Not with Loop, the quality will exceed your expectations. For the first time you will get more than what you pay for in the recycled world.”
Their first brand, Port Weller, is named after their old stomping grounds and has a, “small town craft brew sort of a feel.” It is available on-line through Amazon.ca for the price of $34.99 and $36.00 through Lowes.ca. The Blue Moose Label is exclusive to Giant Tiger customers and offered in five different colours. One gallon of Blue Moose retails for $15.00. Lastly, the Loop brand of paint, their signature, is available in 11 different nature inspired colours and sells for $17.88 at Walmart locations across Canada. A five gallon tub of Loop contractor’s white paint retails at $63.00. A significant difference when compared to the big box retailers whose prices range from $80.00 to $92.00. Along with these three different brands of paint, Loop Recycled Products also produces paint for private and exclusive clients.
During full swing production, Loop Recycled Products Inc. employs 60 individuals. As the paint enters the facility, it is assessed for quality and sorted. From there, the paint is made into feed stock and undergoes approximately 30 specifications during a quality control process. Every colour and batch is approved by the president, Josh Wiwcharyk, before it is packaged, labelled, and distributed to retailers.
Loop Recycled Products has an ample selection of paint colours they manufacture, however, availability depends on what is donated at the time of fabrication. “If we receive pinks then we can produce more taupes,” says Berswick. “This season our grey colour is very popular.”
“We work closely with municipalities to collect the paint. This year we are excited to be working with the Regional Municipality of Niagara and keeping Niagara’s waste management within the Region itself,” states Berswick.
The Region of Niagara is taking steps to make hazardous waste disposal easier and more convenient for citizens of the Niagara Region. Instead of the previous method of holding hazardous waste drop off days, three new depots will be opening soon across the Region where residents can bring paint and other household hazardous materials.
One of the interesting things about Loop Paint is that it is premixed as opposed to the traditional way of adding tint to a base and then it is mixed together. This “grab and go” paint eliminates the need for long lineups at the paint counter and assists in keeping final costs down.
From start to finish, everything Loop Recycled Products does in terms of production, considers the carbon footprint as their mission statement focuses on being environmentally sustainable. “From the boxes to the labels, it all comes from recycled products,” says Berswick. “We also crush the used paint cans and ship them out to other recycling facilities to be made into recycled products.” Loop Recycled Products works with a variety of organizations including: universities, industries, and municipalities to ensure their waste is disposed of properly and turned into a new product.
Community involvement is a key aspect of the Loop Recycled Products motto. “We often donate paint to community groups and non-profit organizations including: Red Roof Retreat, David Suzuki Foundation, and the City of St. Catharines,” says Berswick.
From creating local jobs to giving back to the community, Loop Recycled Products demonstrates the good that can be achieved when household hazardous waste is properly disposed of. “We easily show the life cycle of your waste. In a few weeks to months the paint you disposed of is made into a new product and it is back on the shelves,” says Berswick.
What started out as a small company recycling hazardous waste has grown into a booming success. A success story that not many are aware of. There are no other facilities in the area that can master what Loop Recycled Paint has done in a short period of time. “We are always looking for more ways to divert hazardous waste from our landfills,” says Berswick. Stay tuned, Loop Recycled Products has more good things to come.
For more information on Loop Recycled Products visit looppaint.ca. For information on the new household hazardous waste depots through the Regional Municipality of Niagara visit niagararegion.ca/waste/disposal/hhw/depots.aspx
Written By: Jill Tham