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Natural Awakenings Rhode Island

Boat Shrink-Wrap Recycling Project Aims at Marine Industry

Oct 29, 2020 11:08AM ● By Maureen Cary

Clean Ocean Access (COA), a New England-based nonprofit organization with a vision of a healthy ocean that is free of marine debris with water that is safe for all ocean activities and a shoreline that is accessible to the public, has announced a new recycling initiative in partnership with international recycling leader TerraCycle. Since February 2020, the program has successfully collected more than 140,000 pounds of sailing and agricultural shrink-wrap for recycling.

Shrink-wrapping boats and greenhouses in preparation for winter is commonplace in the U.S., but recycling the shrink-wrap in the spring is now more challenging than ever. Historically, plastics of all kinds had been shipped overseas to be recycled, but today, the sailing and maritime community have begun to turn to Clean Ocean Access and TerraCycle’s Shrink-Wrap Recycling Project as a more local solution.

This project aims to establish a U.S.-based recycling system, while also working with the marine industry to advance more circular solutions such as closed loop recycling for shrink-wrap (where the recycled film can become new shrink-wrap) or increasing the use of reusable covers where possible. The Shrink-Wrap Recycling Project aims to prevent plastic film from entering landfills or incinerators by collecting the shrink-wrap from marinas, boatyards, vessel owners and local agricultural operations, then transporting the material to TerraCycle in New Jersey. After initial implementation in Rhode Island by engaging the marine industry and boating public, the long-term goal of this project is to leverage an established network of plastic recyclers and manufacturers with the potential to collect a larger variety of shrink-wrap.

For more information about Clean Ocean Access and how to take part in the Shrink-Wrap Recycling Project, visit