Friends Saved Over a Million Gallons of Paint From Landfill by Rescuing and Remixing it to Give it New Color

Meet the friends who have saved more than 1.05 million gallons of paint from landfills by rescuing used cans—refilling and remixing them to give each one a new lease of life.

Cat Hyde and Kate Moree had the passion and drive to make a difference by repurposing waste material, while making money at the same time.

Since settling on paint and co-founding Seagulls in 2004, the pair have collected around 300 tons of paint each year from the landfill.

They have grown the company to employ 14 staff members who manage 10 volunteers in their English hometown of Leeds, Yorkshire.

“We started by just collecting half-used paint tins in the back of my car,” Cat said.

The team then sorts the good and bad paint and re-blends with new colors requested by customers—all at an affordable price 75% less than in the stores.

“We hadn’t heard of anyone re-cycling paint before,” said 43-year-old Cat. “We were able to work with the local council to collect all the waste paint in Leeds and recycle as much of it as we can.”

“It’s very labour intensive to scrap all the paint tins and re-blend colors but we love it.

“In the last 18 years we have diverted over four million liters of paint which would have caused 11.4 million tons of carbon.”

The social enterprise says that, in order to offset that much CO2, 68 million trees would need to be planted.

The company also gives a lift to those of different backgrounds.

“We’ve helped previous offenders, those who have struggled with their mental health, and young people who have been isolated.”

Seagulls Paint Store also runs decorating workshops and gets involved with art in their community.

“We want everyone to be able to decorate their homes.”