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Recycling Boat Shrink Wrap

Organization(s) Connecticut Dept. of Environmental Protection
Project Description Boat shrink-wrap, made of low-density polyethylene, is a recyclable material that can be remanufactured into composite lumber, agricultural sheeting, and even the spacers on highway guardrails. About half of the boats in Connecticut are shrink-wrapped over the winter, and more than 50 percent of the shrink wrap plastic is sent to landfills or trash-to-energy plants. Many boaters and marinas can purchase "mail back bags" large enough to hold the wrap of a 26 foot vessel and send the plastic directly to a recycler, but facilities claim that using such a recycling option is not always practical.

In order to increase the boat wrap recycling options for marinas, the CT DEP established a pilot recycling program for boat wrap involving the Trex Company, a manufacturer of composite lumber. This spring, participating marina operators collected boat wrap at their facilities for their waste hauler to transport to one of two facilities in Connecticut where it was baled and stored before being hauled to Trex in Virginia. In all, eight marinas participated in this pilot project, and a total of 34,020 pounds of shrink wrap was collected. The company will test the use of the boat shrink wrap in their manufacturing process to determine whether they can continue to use it to make their recycled boards in the future.

Project Contact
Name N/A
Phone 860-424-3237
Project Keywords
Processes Plastics and Rubber Molding/Forming
Industrial Sectors Marinas, Wood Products Industry
Newsletter Northeast States Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 15 No. 2, Fall 2005 [PDF]


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