What is Boat Shrink Wrap?
Millions of boat owners in the colder climates opt for storing and protecting their boats in the winter season through the use of a protective shrink wrap. Boat shrink wrap is made from low density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic and is highly flexible, stretchy, and can be durable enough to use multiple times.
Owners who store their boats at marinas may be offered the benefit of having the boat shrink wrapping task completed for them for a fee.
For those marinas that are hands on when caring for their customer’s watercraft, they tend to provide boat shrink wrapping and unwrapping services. However, many marinas lack a boat shrink wrap recycling program, opting for general disposal instead, either by the marina or by relying on the boat owner.
Recycling Boat Shrink Wrap
According to Clean Ocean Access, there are more than 6 million registered boats in the United States generating nearly 47,000 tons of shrink wrap waste each year. It is estimated that less than 10% of the shrink wrap is recycled with the remainder ending up in landfills or, in the worst scenarios, in our oceans.
Fortunately, boat shrink wrap material is highly recyclable and more than 900 tons have been recycled in the Northeast since 2007. We expect this number to grow as more marinas and their members learn about and adopt recycling programs.
The 7 Benefits of a Boat Shrink Wrap Recycling Program for Marinas
Protect the environment
Let’s start with the most obvious. The primary goal of recycling boat shrink wrap is to mitigate the damage that plastics can cause in our environment when carelessly deposited in oceans or simply winding up in landfills. Plastics take potentially thousands of years to degrade, so the less plastic we send to landfills, the better.
While we love our plastics due to their extreme usefulness and low cost, communities are increasing their awareness of the environmental impact of plastics and concerted efforts are being made to seek alternatives to basic disposal.
Reuse existing materials
Boat shrink wrap is made from LDPE (low-density polyethylene) plastic which is easily recycled and can be used to make many different items such as weather resistant decking, outdoor furniture, benches, and fencing, plant pots, bottles for cleaning liquid and personal care, films and other sheeting, bags, shoes, and even carpeting and countertops.
With so many use cases, it makes sense to recycle as much boat shrink wrap as possible!
Using recycled plastics to make new items is also an eco-friendly way to manufacture as it produces fewer greenhouse emissions versus the process used to create new plastics.
Save on marina operational costs
Depending on the size of the marina, those who dispose of boat shrink wrap can accumulate hundreds or potentially thousands of pounds of plastic each season. For many, disposal means tossing in the dumpster for pickup and delivery to a landfill.
For those that want to recycle, most marinas have to navigate the logistics of collecting all the plastic, ensuring that it is clean, dry, and debris-free, and transporting it to a recycling center.
Either scenario creates extra, seasonal costs. In some cases, marinas pass that cost directly on to their customers in the form of disposal fees or higher slip rental fees. By reducing or eliminating the cost to dispose of boat shrink wrap, marinas have the ability to increase their profits or benefit their customers through the elimination of such fees.
Customer Success Story
Learn how one marina successfully tested a new boat shrink wrap recycling program that allows them to reduce costs for their customers.
Increase customer delight
Boating is a delightful pastime for many and the marina experience has a part to play in that overall experience. For boat owners that rely on a marina for the care and safekeeping of their boat, the additional services of cleaning, dry docking, winter storage, bait and tackle, and access to fuel can add up very quickly.
By including a boat shrink wrap recycling program as a benefit to docking at a particular marina, the marina has the opportunity to provide an even higher level of service at a discounted, or waived price. What customer doesn’t want that!
Additionally, promoting a recycling program provides a fair amount of goodwill to already delighted customers who will appreciate the thoughtfulness of a marina that takes an eco-friendly approach to running their outdoor, recreational-focused business.
Adhere to legal regulations
Depending on where your marina is located, there may be local regulations that guide and instruct on the proper disposal of plastics, such as boat shrink wrap.
By creating a recycling program for your marina, you can ensure compliance and achieve the proper Certification of Destruction documentation you may need.
Finally, it’s easy! A proper boat shrink wrap recycling program uses a recycling partner that can handle all of the scheduling and logistics for your marina. From guidance to developing a process and schedule, to ensuring any local legal adherence, and to pickup of the materials, an annual recycling program can be implemented with ease.
Start Your Marina Recycling Program
Whether large or small, contact AAA Polymer to find out how easy it is for your marina to begin a successful boat shrink wrap program that will benefit the environment, your business, and your customers.
Learn more about AAA Polymer’s boat shrink wrap recycling program for marinas.Contact AAA Polymer today for a free site analysis.