Eco Choice Aotearoa’s standard for paint covers interior and exterior, water-based paints primers, varnishes and sealants.

New Zealanders purchase some 22 million litres of decorative paint each year.

A range of harmful ingredients can be used in paint, posing a significant concern for human health and the environment. These include:

  • Pigments containing toxic metals
  • Additives (i.e. biocides and surfactants) which could include human carcinogens and/or mutagens, and have an ecotoxic effect on aquatic environments
  • Solvents which can affect air quality, human reproduction and development
  • Volatile Organic Compound (VOCs) which can irritate the human respiratory system, impact air quality, sensitive vegetation and ecosystems

Some hazardous substances is necessary for efficacy, but by restricting and minimising their usage, Eco Choice Aotearoa reduces the potential risks.

The ecolabel takes a lifecycle approach with all its product and service standards; considering the sourcing of raw materials, manufacture, application and end-of-life.

Applicants must have an effective product stewardship scheme in place, or show strong evidence they’re working towards one. In addition, companies must monitor and report on emissions, waste, energy and water usage.

Organisations including the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) and the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) recognise the ecolabel’s paint criteria as gold standard.