Our paints are fundamentally unique. While there are many zero VOC paints on the market today, Green Planet Paints® is the first to move beyond petroleum toward a truly sustainable paint based on plant resins and mineral pigments. Making this the only True Zero VOC full paint line manufactured today. To fully appreciate these innovations, a brief review of modern paint and its history is helpful.
Modern paint is composed of essentially four ingredients: pigment, binder, solvent and property additives. Pigment provides the color, while the binder is the “glue” that holds everything together. The solvent adjusts the consistency, and the additives improve how the paint mixes and flows. These four types of ingredients combine to create a liquid that can be painted and will adhere to a substrate. For thousands of years paints have been made from a wide variety of natural materials, such as lime, casein, linseed oil, chalk, clays, minerals and tree resins. Painters of old made their own paint according to local resources and their own knowledge.
Then came petroleum. With the growth of the petrochemical industry after World War II, the milk-based paints common at the time were replaced with synthetic petroleum-based products. Pigments, resins and additives were synthesized in the laboratory and mass produced in factories. Synthetic biocides allowed the easy preservation of the paint in the can, so it could be stored indefinitely and shipped anywhere. This “new” synthetic paint eventually became the accepted standard for house paint. But as we’ve come to learn, along with the convenience came a number of costs: to human health, planet, and beauty of the finish.
- Human Health. Commercial paints can contain up to 1500 different petrochemicals, many of which are harmful. Most of these chemicals, but not all, are regulated by the EPA using the term VOC (volatile organic compounds.) This definition is somewhat misleading though, as not all harmful paint chemicals fall under the VOC definition. Furthermore, the EPA allows up to 5 mg/liter of VOC’s in the zero VOC rating.
- Planet. VOCs not only contribute to smog, they are also potent greenhouse gases. With the huge amounts of energy needed to drill, ship, and refine petroleum into components for paint, petroleum-based paints are simply not sustainable.
- Beauty. Petroleum-based paints, being synthetic and highly processed, produce colors that lack natural complexity and all too often look and feel “lifeless.”
Most paint companies, in attempting to “green” their paints, have focused on the human health aspects, removing or replacing particular additives so as to meet the low and zero VOC criteria established by the EPA. Yet their paints are still petroleum-based, with pigment, binder and additive remaining synthetic. Not to mention that with the exception of clay paints and power tints, everyone uses the same synthetic petroleum-based tints to color their base paints, which results in VOC’s being added to the paint at enormous amounts when colored. Even though these tints are called zero VOC tints. The truth is, they have to be below 250 g/l to be called zero VOC. I call this extremely high VOC's. We here at GGWP make our own tint systems and we are at truly zero in VOC's and 100% bio content.
This is where Green Planet Paints® is different. We’ve made three key choices in formulating our paint:
1. To move beyond petroleum, using plant-based binders and additives only.
2. To minimize or eliminate additives and not over-formulate, which not only creates more synthetic products in our waste stream, but takes the life out of the paint. So we use plant waste stream materials to make these items for our products.
3. To use mineral pigments that are produced with low energy processes, resulting in unique, lightfast colors, in a simple, easy to use color palette based on the colors of nature.
The result is paints and stains that’s are truly exceptional--safe, sustainable, durable and beautiful by nature. And isn’t that what our paint and stain products should be?