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Shrinkwrapped Boats — Ugh

We are boaters. For the better part of the year it’s cold here so the boats are sitting in dry dock covered in shrinkwrap. Let’s call it what it is: They are wrapped in yards and yards of plastic that cannot be reused. Ever. Until this year I never gave a thought to it. I never saw it, really. The big boat was stored in a marina. I saw it unwrapped when we dropped it off and it came back to us unwrapped.

This year, however, I decided that it was wasteful and sinful to pay someone four figures to store our boat for the winter. Instead, we paid someone to trailer it to our home and drop it in the backyard. And there it sat, November through now, in all its shrink wrapped splendor. It’s not a big, big boat — it’s 27-feet long — but big enough that I feel guilty about all that plastic.

I was gratified to see, however, that the Town of Hempstead this year announced a shrink wrap recycling program for marinas as well as Jane and John Doe — people like me and my husband. According to the Town’s website, it, along with Operation SPLASH (Stop Polluting Littering and Save Harbors), will be collecting used shrink wrap daily. (From the site: 8:30 AM and 3:30 PM Monday through Friday. In addition, residential boat owners may drop off shrink wrap on Saturdays and Sundays, from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.)

This weekend my husband started getting the boat ready for the water. As part of that, he pulled down the wrap. It’s sitting in my backyard, but I’ll be taking it over to 1600 Merrick Road tomorrow. And for what it’s worth: This year, keeping the boat in the backyard not only saved us money, but it helped save the environment just a little bit, too.

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