Ready for a roadtrip? If you packed your bags, fishing rods and tackle box and headed across the country from Washington, D.C. to San Diego, you’d log nearly 2,700 miles. That’s the amount of fishing line that was recycled through the BoatUS Foundation’s Reel In and Recycle Program in 2010, which gives anglers an easy way to recycle fishing line at over a thousand locations across the country.
“This effort happens as a result of many individuals and organizations,” said BoatUS Foundation Director of Environmental Programs Susan Shingledecker. “In the last two years we’ve built and distributed nearly 1,200 fishing line recycling bins to local groups around the country. These 3-foot tall PVC storage tubes keep discarded fishing line out of our waterways and helps protect fish, birds and other wildlife from entanglement.”
The bins are installed on piers, docks and buildings at waters’ edge and maintained by fishing clubs, Scouting groups, marinas, and other local volunteers. The 2,700 miles of line collected by these volunteers was sent to the Berkley Conservation Institute, a division of Pure Fishing, for recycling where it was melted down and used to make other products.
West Marine, the big boating, sailing and fishing retailer, also recycled fishing line collected at its stores. “West Marine is a vital partner in this effort,” says Shingledecker. “When respooling line for customers, there’s a great opportunity to collect large volumes of line for recycling.” The company tracks their stores line collection through online tools and provides incentives to the volunteer groups to collect and recycle their old line. Each time one of the BoatUS Foundation’s 1,200 recycling bin sites reports a line shipment to Berkley, the group sponsoring the bin is entered to win a $100 West Marine Gift Card in a monthly drawing.