BoatUS Foundation and Berkley Celebrate Breakthrough Concepts in Fishing Line and Soft Bait Recycling: ‘Recast and Recycle’ Contest Winners Announced
ANNAPOLIS, Md., October 7, 2021 – Recycling old fishing line and soft baits into new products is labor-intensive, inefficient and simply, for many anglers, not easy to do. This hampers the ability to grow the volume of line and soft bait recycling in the U.S. However, three BoatUS Foundation and Berkley Recast and Recycle Contest winners aim to change that. The prizewinners – a recent college grad, an outsdoorsman and 3D printing hobbyist, and a team of four college friends also took home a total of $30,000 in prize money donated by the 501(c)(3) nonprofit and the fishing products manufacturer.
“Today’s fishing line and soft bait recycling remains labor-intensive and costly,” said BoatUS Foundation Director of Outreach Alanna Keating. “Working with Berkley, our Recast and Recycle Contest sought out new and innovative ideas to improve the recycling process, increase the amount of recycled material, or offer a technology breakthrough in the way line is recycled and reused. We believe these winning entries, which range from a concept to prototype, have the ability to give nearly every angler the opportunity to easily recycle.”
The Recast and Recycle Contest’s panel of judges included: NOAA Marine Debris Program Southeast Regional Coordinator, Sarah Latshaw; American Sportfish Association Social Media Manager, Allen Luck; California Coastal Commission Environmental Boating Program Manager, Vivian Matuk; Two-time Bassmaster Classic Champion and outdoor television host Hank Parker; BoatU.S. Magazine Contributing Editor and Angler in Chief of FishTalk Magazine, Lenny Rudow; host of “Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show” and “The Bassmasters,” Mark Zona; and BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water President Chris Edmonston.
Askew’s theoretical design repurposes an idea from old: colorful, eye-catching 1960s-style plastic souvenir machines. The “Berkley Recycling Machine” brings line and bait recycling out into the open, instead of throwing discarded line into a beat-up cardboard box under the counter at your local retailer. The injection-molding machine also has appeal for kids, who, while watching discarded soft baits get a second life, also learn the importance of keeping our waters clean. The young designer, who earned her B.F.A. in Industrial Design, offers that machines could be located in retailers and at launch sites, becoming a popular novelty.
This allows anglers to quickly and efficiently manage the despool/respool process. Once the old line is removed and stored on the small spool by way of a special chuck (included) and electric drill, it’s snapped neatly back into the standard size spool where the new line awaits easy spooling to your reel – functioning the same as it does normally.
Locking in the old line on the small spool also makes it easier to recycle and reduces the chances of snagging wildlife. This recycling solution can also be incorporated into existing packaging and turned into pellets to create new spools, offering benefits to manufacturers.
The app also offers the ability to track your recycling progress, includes a map to see what friends are catching, offers a journal to save photos of fish caught and important fishing information such as lures and location, and makes it easy to post on social media.
The BoatUS Foundation and Berkley hope to raise awareness of these prizewinning concepts to help support further research and development. A video of the winning entries and more can be found at the Recast and Recycle website, BoatUS.org/Contest.
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