Contest seeks new ideas for recycling line, soft baits

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – You’ve likely seen the fishing line recycling bins in many marinas and boatyards, but what really happens after that line is collected? Recycling it into new products is labor-intensive, requiring a series of workers to comb through, sort, clean, remove hooks and weights, and separate out encrusted debris from miles of entangled fishing line. There also aren’t any recycling programs for fishing-related materials like soft baits.

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water and Berkley have teamed up with the Recast and Recycle Contest to offer $30,000 in prize money ($15,000 first place, $10,000 second place and $5,000 third place) for new and innovative ideas that could improve the process, increase the amount of fishing line and soft baits that can be recycled, create new recycled products or offer a technology breakthrough in the way line is recycled and reused.

Contest submissions can address any part (or multiple parts) of the process of taking fishing gear from end of life to a new life. Professionals, amateurs and students are all encouraged to apply, as are school teams and groups. Judges will add weight to contest submissions that actually work, are practical, innovative and have the potential to have a significant impact.

The deadline for contest entries May 14, 2021. Entries can be easily submitted by sending a link to a video demonstration of the idea (limited to 4 minutes) or a one-page graphic summary.

Contest rules and conditions, details on the current recycling process and videos on how various plastics and soft baits are recycled can be found at the Recast and Recycle website