Shrink Wrap Recycling: Easier Than You Think
It may not be the least-expensive way to protect your pride and joy from a long winters hibernation, but having your boat shrink wrapped during layup time does offer just about the best protection you can get from snow, ice, and other winter problems that conspire to damage it. If youre lucky, though, youve removed that expanse of white plastic and are getting ready to hit the water for that first run of the season any time now. But whats the best thing to do with that huge piece of plastic that was covering your boat?
Unfortunately, tossing it in the dumpster isnt the correct answer to this question. With 13 million registered boats in the United States, its easy to see how shrink wrap covers from boats could cause a landfill crisis, even if only 25 percent of those registered boats get wrapped every year. Luckily, though, there are some solutions. Some require a little homework on your part, some are easy, but all of them are worthwhile.
More About Tarps Or Boat Covers
Tarps and boat covers are the other options opposed to shrink wrap. It does get a little more complicated when trying to get the tarp to fit properly to protect the boat as the shrink wrap does.
If the boat is being stored inside, almost any cover or tarp that fully covers the boat can work. The main thing to do is just make sure that it completely covers all the way around the boat.
Then take some lines and tie a line all the way around the boat, ensuring that there is no way for any animals to climb up inside the boat. This will only work for so long because it is difficult to properly vent a tarp without cutting holes in it and weakening its strength.
Without the vent holes, you can have moisture build up and molding issues. So there is a catch twenty-two there.
When it comes to outside storage though, for the winter, the shrink wrap really does a better job when it is properly installed. That is because the snow and ice slide off of it when it is pitched properly.
Where as the tarp will be extremely difficult to avoid the build-up and the ripping from the freezing cycles. Then when the wind hits it, the metal eyes on the tarp will be flapping and banging up against the boat, scratching and possibly damaging the gel coat!
The cheap generic covers are basically the same story. They will work for awhile, but after continued use, they do the same thing because they are not made for one specific boat.
Is Shrink Wrapping A Boat Worth It
Now, being worth it is really a different question. I think that a lot of people put the necessity and the worth it questions together. When in reality they are not the same!
Being worth it will also depend on where you are and what is available. There are some places where you might find that the cost of inside storage is actually cheaper than the cost of shrink wrapping.
If you can store your boat inside of a barn or a garage, then it is different than if you have to store it outside in the elements.
Weighing the cost of inside verses outside will depend greatly on what you have available in your area. Maybe you can find an inside storage facility where you can park your boat on the trailer inside of a barn for only a couple hundred dollars for the winter.
If it costs less than the price of the shrink wrap, that might be a better option. You are still protecting the boat from the winter weather, and maintaining it for next season.
Even with inside storage though, you are going to want to think about covering the boat. There are a lot of critters and things that you will have to fight inside, just as outside.
Rats, mice, raccoons, cats, and other animals love to find a way into a stored boat and make a little hotel for the winter!
Dust, dirt, and other things can build up on the boat when being stored inside too. Covering the boat and making sure that animals cant get inside will help keep the boat clean and fresh for next season!
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Is Shrink Wrapping A Boat Necessary
The necessity of shrink wrapping your boat really depends on where you live, and how much you like the way your boat looks! Shrink wrapping should be looked at as a form of maintenance. Especially if you live in a location that sees a lot of snow and freezing temperatures.
Think about the damage that is done when water and snow builds up in the boat and goes through freezing cycles. Water in window seals, seat cushions, around the bilge pumps and float switches.
The ice can damage things that you would never think about and then you will find out when you get the boat out of storage the following boating season. For most people that have invested in buying a boat.
Which is usually not a cheap investment. Forking out the money for the boat means that we would like to get as many years out of the boat as we can!
Besides all the costs and expenses that occur just from owning a boat, taking care of it is pretty important to make sure it lasts.
So, I would say yes, it is necessary to shrink wrap or cover your boat when it comes time for winter storage.
How To Recycle Shrink Film
There is perhaps no other word that invokes the concept of “cringe-worthy” for the environmentally concerned citizen than “plastic”. Plastics have become an epidemic to the sea, often collecting in literal islands of trash in our oceans sometimes stretching far as the eye can see. When it comes to shrink film these concerns are no different but are they truly warranted? Below we will take look at the environmental benefits of packaging plastics and explore their potential in recycling.
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The Truth About Shrink Film Recycling And The Environment
As mentioned above plastics are a hot button issue for climate protesters as they continue to accumulate in our oceans. Passionate environmentalists often demand for plastics to be better managed in the world of recycling. In some cases packaging plastics like polyethylene, polyvinyl-chloride and polyolefin are attacked simply because they are a type of plastic.
HOWEVER, the truth is that when it comes to packaging materials, plastic shrink films are hands down one of the most earth-friendly packaging materials. Shrink films take up less space on our store shelves as well as within our landfills. Their carbon footprint is significantly less than other alternatives such as glass, metal, cardboard and paper.
WHY? Glad you asked… The weight and size of materials like glass, metal and paper add significant additional shipping costs and further negative influence on the environment to every single item shipped in the world.
While this may be a hard pill to swallow, the unfortunate truth is that the science of sustainability not only supports these claims but puts them front and center of the climate debate to those who have ears to listen…
In fact a 2014 study conducted by the Franklin Associates discovered that using packaging alternatives in the United States other than the plastics currently used and researched in the study would increase energy usage by 80%. The impact of greenhouse gas emissions would increase by over 130%…
Jacob Seeks Packaging Machinery
General Challenges Of Plastics Recycling
Recycling shrink wrap is more practical than recycling plastics used in retail packaging, as noted above, yet plastics recycling rates remain low in general.
A 2016 report, The New Plastics Economy Rethinking the future of plastics, which was a collaboration between the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, World Economic Forum and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, takes a systemic look at the life cycle of plastics, from production to packaging to waste.
The report calls out the importance of what they refer to as an after use plastics economy, in other words, a financially supportable ecosystem for collection and recycling.
The potential benefits suggested include a substantial increase in the current 5% rate of recapture for single use items. Since that 5% roughly equates to $4-6 billion annually, its easy to see how small incremental improvements could result in substantial impact.
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Use Less Recycle More
Of course, recycling more is a worthwhile goal for any company, but many of them could actually make even more of an impact by finding ways to use less of the film as well.
Thinner gauge film does not always mean less film used. The traditional 3 wraps bottom, up the load, 3 wraps top, back down the load wrap pattern is not actually necessary or optimal for every product. And the optimal pre-stretch percentage depends on a number of variables.
All that said, the bottom line is always film weight. Once the pre-stretch, film gauge, and wrap pattern are optimized for the product at hand, then film should be cut and weighed. That is the way to really quantify use, and the touchpoint against which changes should be measured for overall impact, since proper containment force means there will be no unsalable or damaged products to net against film savings within the waste stream.
So in short, shrink wrap can be recycled, and simple steps can also reduce the amount used for even greater impact.
Which Runs The Risk Of Damaging The Boat
When the wind blows, and the metal eyes are moving around on the hull, it will scratch the paint or the gel coat.
Now when you are talking about custom built covers. Depending on who makes the cover. These can be super expensive, but can ultimately be the best. Doing a lot of boating in Florida, covers are more for UV protection down here than snow or ice.
When up in the locations where the freezing is an issue. The custom cover can last the longest and protect just as well as the shrink wrap. They just dont repeal the water like the plastic shrink wrap does.
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Shrink Wrap For Boats
Looking for a solid solution to protect your boat or yacht against severe weather or damage during the winter months? A protective boat wrap with a high-quality shrink wrap offers a reliable solution.
During winter, countless boat owners keep their boats away from the water. In this period, it is important to keep your boat in mint conditions. Heat shrink boat wrapping protects your yacht or sailboat from damage.
Solicom specialises in protecting industrial applications. The Verisafe shrink wrap for boats provides optimal protection against the sun, wind, harsh weather, dust, and other damaging forces. The skin-tight cover allows you to transport a boat protected from weather conditions and other harmful factors. For this reason, Verisafe heat shrink wrap has become a favourite among boat enthusiasts.
Can You Recycle Shrink Wrap
Recycling the shrink wrap is the best thing to do. It was noticed a few years ago how much shrink wrap was being hauled off to the landfills every spring when the boating season came back around.
So trying to cut back on the amount that gets taken there is a plus for all of us! There are many different programs that states now have to make it possible to recycle the old, unusable wrap.
Though you can pay for companies to come out and remove the shrink wrap and haul it off to the recycling facilities for you. There are a couple of companies that run programs to have recycling pick up runs during certain months of the year, in certain states.
There are also different marinas in different areas that will take the shrink wrap to recycle for you. As well as a lot of waste management companies and recycling facilities that will take the shrink wrap.
So, depending on where you live. You will want to just make a couple of phone calls to these organizations to see what is available to you!
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Recycling Shrink Wrap Is An Environmental Win
Here at Rubicon, we want to make shrink wrap recycling more accessible to all businesses. To make this a reality, it starts with behavior change and recognizing that when you make the choice to switch from landfilling to recycling your shrink wrap, you are creating a new potential revenue stream for your business and a big win for the environment.
If you have any questions, or youre interested in speaking with me about our shrink wrap recycling solutions here at Rubicon, you can reach out to me directly at , or contact our sales team at 479-1507.
Meredith Leahy is a Waste Diversion Manager at Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicons announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on , , and , or contact us today.
Repurposing Boat Shrink Wrap
There is also the repurposing of the wrap. Landscaping and other methods are the most common uses.
Holes can be poked in the wrap, and it can be used to lay down under mulch and other forms of lawn care.
There are not that many ideas that I can come up with to repurpose the wrap outside of using it as a tarp to cover your stuff or a painters tarp.
The recycling method is a form of repurposing the plastic though.
Since the wrap is actually a form of plastic that some companies buy from the recycling facilities to use to make different materials.
One of those materials is composite lumber or composite decking! Which is used for decking many docks where we park our boats!
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Got Wrap Initiative Wants To Recycle Boat Covers
Seaside Sustainability, a Gloucester-based nonprofit, has partnered with the city of Gloucester and a North Andover waste company in a new program to collect and recycle the shrink wrap used to winterize boats and help keep it out of community landfills.
- SEAN HORGAN/Staff photo
SEAN HORGAN/Staff photoSeaside Sustainability, a Gloucester-based nonprofit, has partnered with the city of Gloucester and a North Andover waste company in a new program to collect and recycle the shrink wrap used to winterize boats and help keep it out of community landfills.
Good news: Boat owners looking for a place to responsibly dispose of the plastic shrink wrap used to winterize their vessels now have access to a new disposal site in Gloucester.
Better news: Its free and will result in the plastic being appropriately recycled for other uses.
Seaside Sustainability, a Gloucester-based nonprofit, has partnered with two elements of the city of Gloucester and a North Andover waste company in a new program to collect and recycle the boat-sized plastic shrink wrap and help keep it out of community landfills.
The nonprofits Marine Shrink Wrap Recycling Initiative began Monday at the Gloucester Department of Public Works at 28 Poplar St. and will operate until June 4.
The citys Harbormaster Office, which has helped spread the word of the program and served as an entree between Seaside Sustainability and the citys Public Works, is also part of the program.
What Are Road Access Guidelines
- Your road must be unobstructed, have a good solid base to accommodate a truck’s weight.
- Trucks require an opening of 10 feet wide by 13 feet high .
- There must be a suitable turning area wide enough for trucks to provide continuous service without the need to reverse out .
- The road surface must be relatively smooth .
- Snow must be removed and icy surfaces sanded or salted to provide necessary traction for large vehicles.
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How To Dispose Of Shrink Wrap
Which makes recycling the shrink wrap the best way to dispose of it. There are a lot of people that still just throw the wrap in the trash, which is one way of disposing of it.
The recycling method is preferred by most people though. Especially when there are so many programs out there to recycle the wrap.
As well as the facilities that will take it in and dispose of it properly for you.
For the most part, it doesnt cost that much, if any, money to dispose of it to a recycling facility, just a little bit of your time!
How To Recycle Your Businesss Shrink Wrap
Shrink wrap recycling is a major part of our overall plastics recycling program at Rubicon®, meaning that if youre a business owner wondering how to recycle shrink wrap , youve come to the right place.
As a business owner, you know that the plastic film that surrounds your deliveries is necessary to ensure that your goods and products get delivered in the safest way possible. What some warehouse managers and business owners might not realize, however, is that its possible to recycle shrink wrap and keep that material out of landfills.
As a Waste Diversion Manager here at Rubicon, Ive spoken with countless businesses who have been throwing their shrink wrap in the garbage for years because they simply didnt know that it could be recycled.
Many cities and counties have hard and fast rules surrounding plastics recycling for commercial and residential locations alike, with the most common rule being that only hard plasticsincluding plastic bottles, jars, and tubscan be accepted for recycling in these programs. Hard plastics are generally described as something that keeps its shape if you try to flex it, such as plastic detergent bottles, milk cartons, and sports drink bottles. Soft plastics, such as plastic bags, packaging, and, of course, shrink wrap, often cannot be recycled by cities, as they tend to jam machinery at the materials recovery facility , causing slowdowns, delays, and even breakdowns.
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