Shrinkwrap Recycling Program Expands for Boaters in Select Maryland Counties

Photo of several boats on dry land covered in plastic wrape

Maryland Department of Natural Resources photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Clean Marina Initiative and the Marine Trades Association of Maryland are expanding their shrinkwrap recycling program directly to boaters in Queen Anne’s and Anne Arundel counties. This expansion will allow boaters who keep their boats at home in these counties to join the recycling effort . Previously, shrinkwrap recycling efforts were only targeted to boatyards and marinas, which continue to participate in the program.

The expansion is coordinated in partnership with the Queen Anne’s County Commission, the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works, Plastic Free Queen Anne’s County, West Marine, and Fawcett’s Boat Supplies. 

Residents of Queen Anne’s County can obtain a free required recycling bag – courtesy of the Queen Anne’s County Commission, while supplies last – at the following locations:

  • West Marine store in Chester; 
  • Rommel’s Ace Hardware in Stevensville;
  • Refill Goodness in Stevensville; and
  • Centreville Town Hall. 

Resident boaters in Anne Arundel County can purchase a recycling bag – which is required by recycling centers – for $15 at the following locations:

  •  West Marine Stores in Annapolis, Edgewater, Tracy’s Landing, or Glen Burnie; and
  • Fawcett’s Boating Supplies in Annapolis. 

Bag fees cover the hard costs of dumpsters, hauling, baling, and recycling the material. 

Boaters will receive detailed instructions on how to prepare the wrap properly, and where to take their bundle for recycling. Key to the success of the project is boaters removing all straps, bands, zippers, doors, and vents from the shrinkwrap, as even one of these will contaminate the whole load. Shrinkwrap is not accepted in curbside recycling and must be taken to special dumpsters provided just for those with the special recycling bags. 

Bags will be available while supplies last from early April 1 through May 31 at the participating locations noted above. In 2023 the program collected and recycled 65,000 pounds of used shrinkwrap. More information and instructions are available on the DNR Clean Marina website.

The Clean Marina Program reminds boaters to “Think Before You Shrink,” and consider a reusable cover instead of shrinkwrap next fall. Reusable covers last for many years and, in most cases, compare to the cost of having the boat professionally shrink wrapped two or three times. Using these covers prevents tons of single-use plastic waste.  

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