Think before you shrink next fall and be sure to recycle shrink wrap this spring

May, 2021 Blog by MBA Executive Director Nicki Polan

We are in the midst of our very busy launch season in Michigan and thousands of boats are being uncovered and prepped for delivery to owners all over the state. Some owners store their boats at the dealership and others store their boats on their own property. If your boat is shrink wrapped and you are the one to uncover it, the Michigan Boating Industries Association is encouraging owners to take a few extra steps to assure the shrink wrap used on your boat is recycled, and that you make a note today for next fall to “Think Before you Shrink.”

There is a growing movement across the industry and through organizations like the Michigan Clean Marina Program and the Michigan Recycling Coalition (MRC) to recycle shrink wrap. There are many area locations available to take your shrink wrap to assure it does not end up in a landfill.

Additionally, MBIA encourages you to start planning now to convert to a reusable material for your next winter boat covering. Semi-custom, reusable covers are readily available for most small boats at about the same cost as two years of shrink wrap. The reusable covers last five to ten years and can be repaired or cleaned to extend their life.

Boaters can ask their local marina or local marine retailer for help purchasing, cleaning, or repairing their covers. A list of marinas and canvas workers can be found on www.boatmichigan.org.

If you must use shrink wrap, please be sure to ask your local marine business to participate in a recycling program along with you. Last season, MRC recycled 35 tons of plastic through the hard work of Dr. Shrink, Bay Area Recycling for Charities, Emmett County Recycling, and all of the marinas and individuals around the state that participated, even in times of uncertainty with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Please ask your local marine business to join MBIA and the MRC efforts to keep our beautiful state clean and garbage-free. Instead of disposing of non-biodegradable boat wraps in dumpsters, a recycling bag can be purchased for $7. This fee includes the bag, material collection, and recycling. Participating in the program is easy. All they have to do is order the EZ-fill shrink wrap bags and submit a registration form to the Michigan Recycling Coalition. From there MRC consolidates small loads of 15 bags or less by organizing drop off locations that are locally accessible or by directly scheduling a pick-up with local businesses. Perhaps you can organize a recycling effort through your lake association as well.

Go to the Michigan Recycling Coalition website (michiganrecycles.org) to register or to find a shrink wrap drop off location near you. The goal is to reduce plastic waste and alleviate disposal issues caused by removing shrink wrap every spring. Remember – Think before you shrink next fall and be sure to recycle your shrink wrap this spring!  Thank you!