Brightmark Pioneers Indiana Boat Wrap Recycling Program

July 2nd, 2020
Reading time: 3 minutes

Effort will now focus on marine service dealers in four counties to turn boat wrap into boat fuel

SAN FRANCISCO – Brightmark, the global waste solutions provider, announced today it has successfully completed a pilot collection program for boat wrap with a local marine services dealer located near the company’s Ashley, Ind. plastics renewal facility.

Supported by the Northeast Indiana Solid Waste Management District (NISWMD), the project established the viability of diverting from the waste stream used boat wrap from leisure crafts that were placed into winter storage. The collected material will now be used as a feedstock to produce transportation fuel and wax at the Ashley facility.

Expansion of the program to additional marinas located in the four counties serviced by NISWMD is now being planned. Those counties are: DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble and Steuben. Seasonal boating, water sports and fishing are leading contributors to the local economy with more than 100 freshwater lakes located in the region.

“Boat wrap is a pure waste stream that has always been difficult to properly recycle,” said Steve Christman, executive director of the Northeast Indiana Solid Waste District. “This program fits perfectly because it allows us to turn the waste into something of value to boaters.”

The wrap, a linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), is similar in structure to heavy-duty garbage bags and is difficult to recycle as a somewhat contaminated, seasonal material. By collecting the wrap from local marinas, Brightmark ensures that it does not end up in local landfills and instead, finds a productive second use as a fuel source for local vehicles and powerboats.

The ultra-low sulfur diesel and gasoline blendstocks produced from the boat wrap and other co-mingled plastic waste will be sold to BP where it will then go into the wholesale transportation fuel pool in the Midwest.

“A lot of our boat owners have asked what they can do with the boat wrap because they want to do right by the environment, but we haven’t been able to give them a good solution,” said Terry Archbold, owner of Dry Dock Marina in Angola, Indiana. “Now we can give them a suitable option and fulfill that need to act sustainably.”

There are more than 11 million boats registered in the United States. A significant portion of those boats need to be wrapped when they are in dry dock during the winter months. The amount of boat wrap removed each year adds up to approximately 110,000 tons of waste, which, when recycled, would equal nearly 21,000 barrels of renewable fuel.

“The numbers show this waste problem goes far beyond just the state of Indiana,” said Bob Powell, CEO of Brightmark. “But to us, it represents one of those really big problems Brightmark was created to solve.”

Brightmark’s proprietary plastics renewal process accepts co-mingled, single-stream plastics and transforms them into fuel and wax. The process leads to a 14 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions vs. traditionally captured oil. Brightmark’s first commercial-scale plastics renewal facility in Ashley, Indiana – which is where the boat wrap will be shipped – will recycle 100,000 tons of mixed plastic waste each year.

For more information about Brightmark and to download recent photos of its projects, visit the company’s website at

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