EcoTrack 11: Boaters on board to help the environment

This EcoTrack 11 report was filed by News 11's chief meterologist Robert Shiels:

Every September, Lake Erie boaters pull their boats from the water and store them in dry dock until Spring. Many of these boats are stored outside and are sealed with a protective layer of shrink wrap that keeps out the harsh winter weather.

But when the new boating season approaches, "The shrink wrap is cut off of the boat, and traditionally it's been disposed of in dumpsters which eventually ends up going into the landfill. As you can imagine, it's a huge amount of plastic that's not bio-degradable, that takes up a great amount of space in our landfill," says Gary Comer, with the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources' Office of Coastal Management.

So the folks with the Ohio Clean Marinas program decided to start collecting all the used shrink wrap they could get their hands on.

"Our first year, we did around 100,000 lbs. of boat shrink wrap. Last year, we did closer to 300,000 lbs," Comer says.

The shrink wrap comes from more than 100 partner-marinas. It's then given to the Mondo Polymers Co. which uses it to make a few products like guard rail blocks you see on the highway -- almost 2 million of them last year alone.

That's a win for the environment, the economy and road safety. If you'd like to donate your boat shrink wrap, just call Gary Comer at 419-609-4120 to schedule a pickup. They start collecting in mid-April.