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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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news releases

April 10, 2008

Contact: Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994
Karen Hershey (609) 984-1795


(08/20) TRENTON - Municipalities and counties are collecting and recycling hundreds of tons of plastic covering used to protect boats from harsh winter weather under a new program introduced by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson.

"While shrink-wrap is a cost-effective and convenient way to protect boats from the elements, it presents a serious waste disposal challenge because the plastic wrap cannot be reused by boaters." Commissioner Jackson said. "This recycling effort will keep shrink-wrap out of our landfills and save marina operators money in disposal costs."

The New Jersey Department of Transportation's Office of Maritime Resources awarded the DEP a $100,000 grant which comes from boater registration fees to implement a marine debris recycling program. Nine counties were given funds to collect, bale and recycle shrink-wrap. The grants are being used by the selected counties to purchase bins for placement at municipal recycling centers for shrink-wrap collection, to cover recycling facility transportation costs and to provide education to marina operators and boaters about the benefits of shrink-wrap recycling.

Every year, tens of thousands of boats in New Jersey are covered in shrink-wrap to protect them from the elements during winter storage. The plastic is heated to shrink the material and create a tight fit around the vessel, thereby providing a strong protective cover to withstand the weight of snow and ice. The shrink-wrap covers are then removed to prepare the boats for the upcoming season. Most often, the material is thrown into a Dumpster where it enters the waste stream and winds up in a landfill. Shrink-wrap can be recycled to create more shrink-wrap or it can be used to make plastic bags, plastic lumber and other products.

For more information about the shrink-wrap recycling initiative and to find out which counties are participating in the program, visit the DEP's Web site at:



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Last Updated: April 14, 2008