Case Study: Boat Shrink Wrap Recycling Program

City Island Marina Shrinks Their Impact on the Environment with a Shrink Wrap Recycling Program

By AAA Polymer | Shrink Wrap

Jan 30

In many northern states, the winter period is a time for pleasure boat owners to store their vessels until spring returns. For Minneford Marina, located on the western end of Long Island Sound in City Island, New York, the winter storage season for their customers’ boats runs from mid-October to mid-April.

The award winning marina comprises 200 slips up to 150 feet in length and covers 15 acres. Their winter storage is held in a gated area with paved parking for the boats and is fully secure. Included in winter storage is heavy-duty shrink wrap, offering added protection for the up to 300 boats.

Josephine Virgintino has worked at Minneford Marina for the past eight years and, during that period, had become increasingly concerned that the plastic shrink wrap used to protect boats during the winter storage months ultimately ends up in landfills, causing harm to the environment. “I felt it would be awful to throw it in a landfill but that’s what’s been going on.” Concerned for the marina’s environmental impact, Josephine wanted to “contribute as a business in NYC, but there was no other way to dispose of the shrink wrap.”

Seeking a better solution, Josephine began reaching out to recycling companies to see what her options were. Unfortunately, there was no recycling program set up by New York City, the Bronx or Manhattan.

Unwrapping the Shrink Wrap Recycling Dilemma

Eventually, while doing some research online, Josephine stumbled upon Mike Kralstein at AAA Polymer. AAA Polymer are experts in plastic manufacturing such as stretch film and can liners, as well as the recycling of those plastics.

“Mike’s business came up pretty quickly. I thought I’d give them a shot but I wasn’t sure. Some recycling places don’t handle shrink wrap or some require you to bring it to them at their location.”

Fortunately, AAA Polymer had done this type of work before. However, collecting and recycling shrink wrap plastics that have been exposed to the elements for months provides unique challenges. The folks at Minneford Marina were able to set up a good process for recycling, including keeping the shrink wrap dry, clean, and grease free for pickup by Mike’s team.

“We did our best and Mike was happy with it. It was so smooth working AAA Polymer compared to others I had reached out to who didn’t even want to give it a chance. He was so open to it and positive.”

Unveiling the Marina Recycling Program

When asked if the boat owners were informed of the new marina recycling program, Josephine said that they didn’t mention it at first because they wanted to test out the program. Now that they have experienced success with Mike and the folks at AAA Polymer, Minneford Marina is ready to make a splash with their customers. 

“Now that we know that the program was successful, we can tell the customers as it will benefit them too. We usually charge a fee to dispose of the shrink wrap each spring, but now they won’t have to pay that $85 fee.” 

That’s right. Minneford is able to save on operational costs through the marina recycling program, allowing them to waive the shrink wrap disposal fee entirely for their customers. “The people who care about recycling and keeping the environment in better shape I’m sure will be very happy. Especially now that they don’t have to pay the $85 fee.”

Josephine is preparing to share with her customers the good news of the positive environmental impact the shrink wrap recycling program will make. “I am starting to send out memos getting people ready for the winter. I am definitely going to add this in there and I’m sure I’ll get positive feedback.”

Going Forward Greener

What are Josephine’s hopes for this program long term? “I hope this is something that continues in the years to come. It’s just one more thing we’re doing to make the planet healthier. It’s not always just about the business or the people, you have to think about the planet, the future, and the impact the marina industry is having on the environment. This is just one step that makes me feel more positive about everything else I can do to make the marina greener.”

As Minneford Marina prepares for the upcoming winter storage season, Josephine had some final thoughts on what this program could mean, not just for Minneford Marina, but for other potential marina recycling programs as well. “I hope this gets out there and that other marinas can see that it worked for us and maybe they’ll be inspired. Thanks to Mike and his crew. I look forward to working with them for a long time - as long as I’m here.”

To date, Minneford Marina has recycled approximately 4,000 lbs of material with AAA Polymer.

Contact AAA Polymer to Learn More About Shrink Wrap Recycling

Whether you're a marina that has shrink wrap to recycle out of boat storage or any other commercial enterprise looking to recycle large amounts of shrink wrap and other plastic, turn your plastic trash into cash with a shrink wrap recycling program from AAA Polymer. Learn more about our boat shrink wrap recycling program or contact AAA Polymer today for a free site analysis.

About the Author

AAA Polymer, Inc. was founded in 1974, as a plastic resin and material trading company with an innovative vision to create a company to provide plastic recycling services for industrial/commercial businesses. If you have any questions, we're here for you. Just call us at 718.389.2498.

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