Minimizing the Environmental Impact of Single Use Shrinkwrap

Boats at a marina in shrinkwrap ​​

Shrinkwrap does a great job keeping boats clean and protected but it also is a single use plastic that generate tons of waste. The manufacturing of the wrap also contributes to air pollution. The Maryland Clean Marina Program is taking a two pronged approach to prevent this plastic waste and recycle what there is. Boaters are encouraged to Reduce, Reuse, and then Recycle.

Reduce!Think Before You Shrink!

Reuse: Buy reusable boat covers or find a second or third use for shrink wrap.​

Recycle ​Shrinkwrap In partnership with the Marine Trades Association of Maryland (MTAM) and Chesapeake Materials, and numerous boatyards across the state, ​​the Maryland Clean Marina Program is working to help recycle shrinkwrap to reduce plastic waste. Since 2019 we have recycled over 175,000 pounds of shrinkwrap​. Best efforts to recycle can fail due to the need to keep the wrap pure in order to make it reusable. All straps and debris must be removed. Help us to make this program a success.

June 2022 Article​​ ​​Boats on the Bay Shrinking the Impacts.​

BOATERS: Encourage your marina or boatyard to participate in the program! If your marina recycles, please follow the​ ​do's and don'ts​.​​

  • Residents of Anne Arundel County can purchase a recycling bag for $15 at a West Marine store (Annapolis, Tracy's Landing, ​Glen Burnie, or Edgewater) or Fawcett's Boat Supplies in Annapolis between 1 April and 31 May, 2024. Instructions will be provided at the store when a bag is purchased. DETAILS HERE.

  • Residents of Queen Anne's County can pick up a free recycling bag at several locations, thanks to the County Council's sponsorship. DETAILS HERE

MARINAS/BOATYARDS: Participate in our program! Here’s how it works:

  • MTAM will sell and distribute bags that hold up to 40 lbs of clean shrinkwrap to participating marinas and boatyards. (We still can not sell to individual boaters.)

  • Cost of each bag will be $15. This cost will include the pickup/transportation and recycling of the filled bags. These are the hard costs to make this program work.

  • Critical to the successful recycling of boat shrinkwrap is keeping it pure and clean. All straps, zippers, doors and vents must be removed for the wrap to be accepted by any recyclers. Dates for pick-up will be sent out to you early in the season so that you will have time to prepare and plan to get the wrap bagged in time.

  • Only bagged wrap will be accepted by Chesapeake Materials.

  • Bags hold the wrap from up to a 35-foot boat. By condensing the wrap, you may get more in the bag, but we ask that you keep the weight to 40 lbs maximum.​ See demo video here!

  • Visit the Marine Trades Association of Maryland online to purchase bags or learn more.

  • Direct questions to