Winter is annual maintenance time for many anglers, and respooling with new line and recycling the old is a common task. Ever thought about what happens once you dispose of the old line in a fishing line recycling tube? It’s not pretty. Turning fishing line into new products is labor-intensive, requiring workers to manually comb through, sort, clean, remove hooks and weights, and separate out miles of encrusted debris in entangled fishing line. So as you pile up a few reels of line to be recycled this winter, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is asking for ideas on increasing the volume of line recycled.
Teaming up with fishing tackle company Berkley, the BoatUS Foundation’s Recast & Recycle Contest seeks out new ideas and improvements to the process, new ideas for recycled products, or technology breakthroughs for the current process. Entry is simple – all you have to do is send a short video or one-page summary explaining your idea. A total of $30,000 in prize money is at stake for the three best ideas submitted through May 14, 2021.
“It’s great that anglers recycle,” said BoatUS Foundation Director of Outreach Alanna Keating. “Now we need to ask for help with scaling up recycling with a greater volume of line, whether it’s a time- and labor-saving process improvement or creating a new market to fully sustain recycling efforts.” Judges will add weight to contest submissions that actually work, are practical, innovative, and have the potential to have a significant impact. First-place prize is $15,000, second place $10,000, and $5,000 will be awarded for third place. Contest submissions can address any part of the process (or multiple parts) of taking discarded fishing line and soft plastics from end of life to a new beginning. Professionals, amateurs and students alike are encouraged to apply, as are school teams and groups. Contest entries can be submitted with as little as a link to a video demonstration of the idea or a one-page graphic summary. Videos are limited to four minutes.