Blog Post

Boat wrap addresses the need to protect valuable marine equipment through harsh winter weather, but what happens to this material after the spring unveiling? While boat shrink wrap cannot go in single stream recycling, options exist for marinas, boat yards, and yacht clubs to recycle this high-quality plastic material. Recycled wrap is typically made into plastic bags or composite wood products, which can be used as weather resistant decking, park benches, picnic tables, and more.

There are several resources available for marinas, boat yards, yacht clubs, and other businesses interested in establishing a boat shrink wrap recycling program. The Massachusetts Marine Trades Association (MMTA) is available to help connect their members to area vendors who offer recycling programs. MMTA’s recent Facebook post provides more details about their collaboration with the Woods Hole Sea Grant program for the 2021 boating season. Additionally, Clean Ocean Access offers a grant program for businesses that can offset some of the cost of establishing a boat wrap recycling program. RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) can provide further support by connecting businesses with area recyclers, discussing program logistics, providing waste bin signage, and offering employee training. RecyclingWorks’ no-cost technical assistance can also help marine businesses increase recycling and reduce food waste.

When starting a boat wrap recycling collection, it is important to understand the timing (many boat wrap recycling programs are seasonal), what colors of shrink wrap are accepted, and how materials need to be prepared. Boat wrap recycling programs only accept clean, dry material, and often only accept white colored shrink wrap. All extraneous items, like zippers, rope, wood, doors, vents, straps, and fasteners must be removed. Consider storage and handling, as bundles of wrap should remain dry, and free of debris, leaves, and mud. For more details on handling, the Woods Hole Sea Grant Program has developed a video explaining how to prepare wrap for recycling.

To further reduce waste related to boat shrink wrap, consider one of the following options:

  • Reuse existing wrap for future boat winterization needs.
  • Use a durable canvas cover instead of shrink wrap.
  • Store boats indoors when possible, to eliminate the need for wrap altogether.

Businesses that choose not to offer boat wrap recycling programs can also refer interested customers to the Recycle Smart MA website to learn more about various residential recycling programs for boat wrap.

RecyclingWorks offers a variety of resources to support waste reduction, including guidance on recycling plastics, a Find a Recycler Tool, tips for starting a recycling program, and no-cost technical assistance to provide one-on-one support. To speak to a RecyclingWorks recycling expert, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at