Painting a blue sky
Waterborne coatings in containers China
Shipping containers play a major role in global trade, helping companies around the world to move goods securely from A to B. However, until recently, containers manufactured in China were painted using solvent-heavy coatings. This endangered the health of local communities due to the release of high concentrations of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere. These harmful toxins cause everything from ‘sick building syndrome’ (which literally makes your eyes water), to smog.
But now, with DSM’s help, local container manufacturers are embracing a new, healthier approach. As a leading supplier of waterborne resin technology, we’ve played a lead role in encouraging local companies to migrate to a more sustainable coating solution; one that releases up to eight times fewer VOCs than solventborne paint. To spread our message, we helped form the Waterborne China Platform, a non-profit collective of leading locally based coating players.
Over several years, the Platform team worked tirelessly across the industry to advocate for the use of cleaner coating solutions by Chinese container manufacturers. After years of hard work, this ambition is now being realized in the form of a 140-kiloton reduction in domestic VOC emissions. In fact, some 90% of all locally based industrial containers are now painted with waterborne coatings that perform at least as well as solventborne equivalents. With companies meeting their goals sustainably without compromising performance, both community and industry can look forward to good health in years to come.