12:00 pm, Wed July 10, 2024 – So far in 2024, nearly 50,000 pounds of boat shrink wrap has been collected through the Ohio Boat Shrink Wrap Recycling Program

COLUMBUS, OHIO The Ohio Boat Shrink Wrap Recycling Program is continuing its mission of collecting plastic before it reaches a landfill by helping secure two new grants for its partners. So far in 2024, nearly 50,000 pounds of boat shrink wrap has been collected. That’s in addition to the more than 2.3 million pounds recovered since the program started in 2006, a collaboration created by the Ohio Clean Marinas Program. Shrink wrapping boats is a way to protect them during the wintertime and wrapping a 25-foot boat is equivalent to 2,062 plastic shopping bags.

“The Ohio Boat Shrink Wrap Recycling Program is key to protecting our environment,” said ODNR Division of Parks & Watercraft Chief Glenn Cobb. “Grants from the Ottawa Sandusky Seneca Solid Waste Management District and the Ohio EPA help this program grow and improve. These funds boost our program partners’ recycling efforts, encourage boaters to recycle, and help preserve our waterways and natural resources for the future.”

A grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to CLI, Inc., provides nearly $75,000 for equipment to boost the organization’s efficiency and capacity for shrink wrap recycling. Firelands Local LLC – the business service division of CLI, Inc. – has collected 30,000 pounds of shrink wrap this year and will use the funds to purchase a new box truck for recycling pick-up efforts at marinas throughout Northern Ohio. The grant will also support the purchase of wire bins and shipping containers to be placed strategically at marinas near Lake Erie as public drop-off points.

“We have dispensed 15% of the wire bins, and they have been very well received,” said James Johnson, the head of the program with Firelands Local LLC. “Once we get the box truck, it will allow us to deliver the bins in a more timely and economical way. The smaller truck will also enable us to access smaller marinas that do not have room for the old truck to maneuver.”

A second grant, from the Ottawa Sandusky Seneca (OSS) Solid Waste Management District to Carroll Township, provides $7,000 for two billboards along State Route 2 in Ottawa County, encouraging boaters to recycle their shrink wrap. The first billboard will be up in June 2024 for three months, with the second appearing in March 2025 ahead of the boating season. These billboards aim to promote the program and encourage responsible recycling behavior among boaters.

The program faces significant challenges, particularly contamination of shrink wrap at collection points and drop-off events. Nylon straps, necessary to secure the shrink wrap during the off-season, must be completely removed by boaters for the material to be recyclable. Additionally, a new trend of shrink wrap with felt backing has emerged, making recycling impossible.

“We need the cooperation of all stakeholders—boaters, marinas, and manufacturers—to ensure the success of the recycling program, said Ohio Clean Marinas Program Manager Sarah Orlando. “Proper preparation of shrink wrap is crucial to keeping thousands of pounds of material out of Ohio landfills.”

The grants from the OSS Solid Waste Management District and Ohio EPA will help the Boat Shrink Wrap Recycling Program grow and addressing contamination issues is essential to sustain that growth. Collaboration among all stakeholders is vital to maintain the program’s success.

The program’s key achievements include successful drop-off events in Toledo, the purchase of two balers for the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, advertising efforts in western Ohio, and establishing a public drop-off site in Cincinnati. In Northern Ohio, shrink wrap is collected and delivered to Mondo Polymer Technologies, where it is converted into guard rail blocks for Ohio highways.

For more information about the Ohio Boat Shrink Wrap Recycling Program and how and where you can recycle your shrink wrap, visit the Ohio Clean Marinas Program. You can also contact the Ohio Clean Marinas Program Manager, Sarah Orlando, at ohiocleanmarinas@osu.edu.

The Ohio Clean Marinas Program is a collaborative effort between the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft, the ODNR Office of Coastal Management, and the Ohio Sea Grant College Program designed to encourage marinas and boaters to use simple, innovative solutions to keep Ohio’s coastal and inland waterway resources clean. The program assists in protecting clean water and fresh air for generations of boaters to come.

The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft provides exceptional outdoor recreation and boating opportunities by balancing outstanding customer service, education, and conservation of Ohio’s 76 state parks and waterways.

In 2024, join ODNR as we celebrate 75 years of protecting Ohio’s natural resources and providing outstanding and award-winning recreational opportunities.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

Ohio Sea Grant is supported by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAESSchool of Environment and Natural ResourcesOhio State University Extension, and NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 34 Sea Grant programs nation-wide dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. Stone Laboratory is Ohio State’s island campus on Lake Erie and is the research, education, and outreach facility of Ohio Sea Grant and part of CFAES School of Environment and Natural Resources.


PUBLISHED: 12:00 PM, WED JULY 10, 2024