Shrink Wrap Plus Recycling Program targets boating

SANDY HOOK, N.J. – The New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium has launched an effort aimed at increasing the number of New Jersey boaters, marinas and municipalities that collect and recycle shrink wrap and other non-biodegradable boating-related waste materials, NJMSC said in a press release Wednesday. The Shrink Wrap Plus Recycling Program, which New Jersey Sea Grant and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Coastal Management Program are co-sponsoring, is the first statewide effort of its kind and is being funded through the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s I Boat NJ Program.

Approximately 500 tons of shrink wrap material is used each year in New Jersey for shrink-wrapping boats for storage during the winter months, and only 250,000 pounds is recycled.

“The amount of material recycled has been decreasing over the last few years,” said Michael Danko, New Jersey’s Clean Vessel Act Program chair and marine fisheries agent for the New Jersey Sea Grant Extension Program. “Hopefully this program will help the state meet its goal of recycling 50 percent of the municipal waste stream and help marine business owners reduce disposal costs.”

In addition to promoting shrink wrap recycling, Danko noted that the “Plus” of the program will target recycling other materials used widely in the marine industry, including zinc and aluminum anodes and the plastic drums used for storing antifreeze.

The program will be implemented in two phases. The first will be an education and outreach campaign focused on explaining the program’s benefits to marinas, boaters, municipal officials and county recycling coordinators and demonstrating proper recycling procedures of the targeted materials. The second phase will make funds available to county recycling entities for collecting and recycling the shrink wrap. Education and outreach efforts began in mid-February and will continue throughout the summer. Phase two is slated to begin later this year pending NJDEP funding finalization.

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