Ready to proof -- CLJ 3-23-22

KJ proofed on 3/23

Revised on 3/23

Proofed by KP on 3/24


BCF Chief Executive Officer Tom Bowtell commented, “With consumers becoming increasingly more inclined to make more sustainably conscious purchases, BCF are recording increasing numbers of news articles around the subject of ‘eco-paints,’ as well as reports from our members in the decorative paints industry of emerging companies making unsubstantiated claims. Such claims, if unproven, can be damaging to the decorative paint industry’s reputation, as well as misleading consumers.”

BCF’s green claims guide breaks down the definitions of some of the most commonly used phrases and buzzwords when marketing decorative paints to consumers. The aim is to create a level playing field within the industry, ensure businesses are complying with the law and that consumers are not being misled.

The BCF explained that among terms used to describe a decorative coating, possibly the most used consumer product claim is eco-friendly or green, which are often made as broad statements with no scientific proof to back them up. As descriptors for paint products, BCF explained that these words, often misappropriated from the food industry, are too vague to adequately describe paint. These buzzwords may attract the attention of consumers but are meaningless and often signal little but greenwash.

According to BCF, another key greenwashing issue the industry faces is zero VOCs. BCF takes the position that the use of the terms zero-VOC and VOC-free are false claims and should not be used in the paint industry. BCF members have now adopted the use of the statement “trace VOC” to improve communication to consumers highlighting which products have the lowest levels of VOCs. As the license holders of the industry-wide standard VOC Globe scheme, BCF is promoting the new “trace VOC” term in the coming months as an alternative to zero VOCs.

To help businesses understand how to communicate their green credentials while reducing the risk of misleading shoppers, the CMA has published the Green Claims Code. This focuses on six principles that are based on existing consumer law and make clear that businesses “must not omit or hide important information” and “must consider the full life cycle of the product.”

BCF’s new guide aligns with the CMA’s Green Claims Code and welcomes the increased initiative being taken by UK regulators. More action will likely be brought against those not complying with the CMA’s Green Claims Code, ASA’s Advertising Codes and applicable consumer protection legislation.

MANCHESTER, UK – The British Coatings Federation (BCF) has launched a new online guide, “Green Claims Guide to Decorative Paints,” to tackle the rising number of green claims emerging in the decorative paints industry. According to the UK Government’s website, green claims (sometimes called “environmental claims” or “eco-friendly claims”) are “claims that show how a product, service, brand or business provides a benefit or is less harmful to the environment.”

In an ever more competitive marketplace, the makers of decorative paints often rely on unique selling points to make their products stand out. Some companies, however, may be misleading consumers with unsubstantiated green claims about their products. BCF reports that a recent international analysis of websites conducted by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that 40% of green claims made online could be misleading.

Some of the claims that businesses are using to market decorative paint products to consumers include: “non-toxic,” “natural,” “vegan,” “child and pet safe,” “eco-friendly,” and “organic.” The BCF, the UK’s trade association representing decorative paint manufacturers, is urging consumers to consult BCF’s guide when faced with claims in order to validate them.

BCF Addresses Greenwash Claims in Decorative Coatings

Coatings Industry Mourns Passing of John Cox   

HOBART, IL – John N. Cox of Hobart, Illinois, passed away January 26, 2022. Cox was a veteran of the coatings industry, with over 40 years of experience in all aspects of product development.

Cox began his career at Guardsman Chemical in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1970, he attended the University of Louisville, while he was also working, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry in 1973, and later a Masters and Ph.D. in organic chemistry. Cox worked for Pratt & Lambert, Southern Coatings, and then Sherwin-Williams in Chicago when the company took over Southern Coatings.

Cox’s experience in the coatings industry included working on wood lacquers, stains and metal coatings with Guardsman, Reliance and Mobil Chem. He developed plastic coatings for television and laser-etch coatings for the automotive industry. At Sherwin-Williams, Cox worked on plastic and metal coatings in addition to waterborne and solvenborne coatings for the military group. At Pratt & Lambert, his work involved solvent- and water-based plastic coatings, CARC systems using zinc-rich primer 2K epoxy, moisture cure products, 1k and solvent high-heat products, and a new water-based 2K CARC system.

Photo courtesy of the Chicago Society for Coatings Technology

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Cox was an integral part of the Chicago Society for Coatings Technology (CSCT). He served as the society’s President in 2005 and remained committed to the board, volunteering his time and industry knowledge for many years. He was instrumental in promoting, conducting and expanding the annual CTT/Symco symposium. He attended board meetings and technical dinners, sharing his insights during those events. He was recognized as a 25-year member of CSCT in 2017.

Eastern Michigan University and GDB International Create Partnership

YPSILANTI, MI – The Polymers & Coatings Technology program in the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) has entered a strategic partnership with GDB International Inc., a multinational conglomerate and leader in the paint recycling industry that specializes in producing a diverse range of recycled paints.

As part of this partnership, GDB International Inc. established the GDB International Expendable Scholarship in Polymers and Coating, a $10K scholarship for polymers and coatings students. GDB has also committed to accepting two polymers and coatings graduate students for a summer internship starting this year. Additionally, joint research programs at the Coatings Research Institute are underway.

“I am very excited about this partnership as the GDB scholarship will support students in their experimental research that will develop advanced solutions for sustainable recycling of a wide variety of paints and coatings,” said Vijay Mannari, Distinguished Professor of polymers and coatings technology, and Director for the Coatings Research Institute at EMU, who was instrumental in cementing this partnership. “The summer internship will provide a unique and unparalleled learning experience to our students in exploring emerging paint recycling processes.”

Mannari said that his visit to GDB operations in the summer of 2021 was beneficial in understanding technical issues associated with the paint recycling industry. “EMU Coatings Research Institute is in an excellent position to leverage its strength and develop solutions by joint research projects with GDB under this partnership,” Mannari added.

GDB International’s mission is to reduce the carbon footprint of paints and coating products and preserve land and water resources by developing responsible and sustainable recycling solutions. “We strive to constantly innovate by investing in the paint recycling industry, tirelessly paving the way for a leaner, cleaner and greener paint industry worldwide,” said Sanjeev Bagaria, CEO of GDB International Inc. “Radical ideas have always been encouraged at GDB, giving the students a chance to put their theories to practice. By bringing young, enthusiastic, and passionate talent on board, we are not only fueling our innovation with newer, contemporary ideas but are giving the youth a chance to invest in and better their future.”

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Photo: aydinynr, iStock/Getty Images Plus, via Getty Images

Proposed ASTM Standard Outlines Approach to Particle Size Distribution Measurement

WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, PA – A proposed ASTM International standard (WK45240) will set out a general approach to the particle size distribution measurement of powders, suspensions or slurries using an appropriate wet or dry methodology by the laser diffraction technique. ASTM’s committee on particle and spray characterization (E29) is developing the proposed standard. This effort directly relates to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure.

“The proposed standard should allow anyone that has a laser diffraction instrument for the measurement of particle size distribution to develop methods in a scientifically logical manner providing repeatability, reproducibility and robustness,” said ASTM International member Alan Rawle. “The main users will be companies in the pharmaceutical, construction materials, food and beverage, ceramics, and mining industries, among others.”

Applications in which particle size distribution is used to control final performance, saving time, yield and money, include the paint and coatings industry. In addition to industry, regulatory bodies and laboratories that work with laser diffraction equipment will find the proposed standard useful.

Tnemec Announces the Passing of Pete Cortelyou

KANSAS CITY, MO – Peter “Pete” Cortelyou, Chairman and former CEO and President of Tnemec Co. Inc., passed away on February 11 at the age of 75.

Cortelyou officially joined the Tnemec team in 1975 as Controller and Office Manager, but spent several summers before that mixing and producing paint at the company’s North Kansas City plant. In 1986, Cortelyou was elected President and CEO, where he oversaw Tnemec’s biggest periods of growth and some of its toughest challenges. He resigned from his position in 1994, but rejoined the company in 2003 and was shortly thereafter elected CEO. He served in that role before retiring and transitioning to Chairman of the Board in 2016, when current President, Albert “Chase” Bean IV, was elected President of the company.

“Pete was a central figure in our company, our family and the coatings community,” said Bean. “A consummate gentleman, he provided professional leadership with kindness and wisdom when we needed it the most.”

Cortelyou was also essential in helping the company celebrate its centennial milestone in 2021, as his legacy spanned nearly half of Tnemec’s 100 years in the coatings industry, according to Bean. “We’re deeply saddened by Pete’s passing,” added Bean. “But we’re glad he was able to be a part of the company’s biggest milestone to date. We would not have gotten to where we are without Pete.”

Cortelyou served as a Director for the National Paint & Coatings Association (NPCA) and spent many years assisting those in need with Habitat for Humanity® and through his local faith organization. “Pete will be missed by all of us at Tnemec,” said Bean. “He made a positive impression on so many people in the industry, and even more people outside of it. His contributions are far from gone, and they will live on for long after his passing.”

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Photo courtesy of Tnemec Co. Inc.