WASHINGTON - The Product Stewardship Institute, based at the University of Massachusetts/Lowell, has launched the "Paint Product Stewardship Project," a program aimed at bringing key parties together to jointly address issues related to leftover-paint management.

The institute is proposing a dialogue among representatives of coatings-industry associations, major paint manufacturers, key paint retailers, environmental/consumer advocates, paint recyclers, painting contractors, state and local governments, and other parties. The objectives of the discussions could include the development of a national post-consumer paint policy, the National Paint & Coatings Association said.

The Product Stewardship Institute is identifying and surveying as many as 30 paint manufacturers and paint recyclers in order to gauge post-consumer paint-product stewardship policies and activities. The institute plans to develop a draft Paint Product Stewardship Action Plan and has requested that the NPCA review and comment on the plan.

The NPCA said it is organizing a group to monitor and respond to the initiative, and is also soliciting NPCA members interested in participating in the institute's survey or reviewing and commenting on documents developed by the institute and participating in meetings.

NPCA members can participate in the project or obtain more information by contacting the NPCA's Alison Keane, e-mail akeane@paint.org, or David Darling, e-mail ddarling@paint.org. Additional information also is available at the Product Stewardship Institute website, located at www.productstewardship.org.