The Marine Trades Association of Maryland has partnered with the Maryland Clean Marina Program and Chesapeake Materials to launch a shrinkwrap recycling program.
The MTAM is selling bags that hold 40 pounds of clean shrinkwrap for $15 each. Marinas and boatyards fill the bags and the association will come pick them up.
“We really copied this from Rhode Island who’s been doing it successfully for the last five or six years,” Susan Zellers MTAM executive director told Trade Only Today. She said there are 35 marinas participating in the program and that Port Annapolis Marina and Herrington Harbour Marinas are leading the way, ordering more than 100 bags each.
“We have more than 1,000 bags out there — that should mean we keep 20,000 pounds of shrinkwrap from the landfills this year,” Zellers said. “When you’re talking about a marina with 500 boats in it, that gets expensive.”
She talked to garbage haulers and asked what happens when they put a dumpster dedicated to shrinkwrap in a boatyard in the spring and they told her that in almost every case the contents of the dumpster wind up in a landfill.
The key to the recycling program is that the wrap must be clean. That means removing tape, zippers for doors and any ropes or lines used to tie them down. “The plastic doesn’t have any value unless it’s clean,” said Zellers. Click here to watch a video on how it should be done.
This is the first year for the program and now that the bags have been distributed, Zellers said the marinas and yards are calling the MTAM to retrieve them.
“I’m hoping that we can build some momentum and next year we hope to get individual boat owners to participate as well,” she said.