Rig Recycle Seeks to Reel In Victoria Fishing Litter

  • Victorian fishers can now recycle their unwanted and broken fishing tackle.
  • Tangaroa Blue’s Rig Recycle Program collects fishing line, reels, sinkers, spools and spool packaging so it can be repaired, reused and recycled.
  • The program is supported by Sustainability Victoria’s Circular Economy Fund and will see 60 recycling bins deployed at key locations across the state.
  • The Australian Marine Debris Initiative Database shows fishing litter is one of the top 10 items recovered during community clean-ups.   

To help reduce marine debris, protect marine life and stop unwanted or broken recreational fishing gear going to landfill, Victorians can now drop off their fishing litter at key locations across the state to be sorted and recycled following the launch of the circular economy program, Rig Recycle.

The program comes as the latest analysis of Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) data shows that, since 2020, more than 144,828 metres of fishing line has been recovered from coastal and estuary fishing sites with recreational fishing litter listed in the top 10 items removed during community clean-up events.

The Victorian Rig Recycle program, which was developed by Tangaroa Blue Foundation (Tangaroa Blue) and funded under Sustainability Victoria’s Circular Economy Fund, will collect a range of items including fishing line, reels, sinkers, spools and spool packaging at 60 convenient collection points across Victoria. 

“All fishing litter is harmful to marine and animal life, but no more than discarded fishing line. This program will allow Victorian recreational fishers to divert their used or damaged gear from landfill or local waterways” says Heidi Tait, CEO of Tangaroa Blue Foundation.

“We’ll shortly be installing 60 Rig Recycle bins at key fishing stores and dive shops both in metropolitan Melbourne and across regional Victoria to collect unwanted fishing tackle.The bins will also be provided to local councils and made available to the community for fishing events and engagement activities.”

“The fishing and packaging items deposited in the bins will be diverted from landfill through an innovative repair, reuse and recycle framework. For example, the fishing line and spools will be reprocessed into recycled plastic feedstock which can be used in the manufacture of other recreational fishing industry products, reducing the use of virgin plastic” Tait says.

Tangaroa Blue is encouraging people to express their interest in hosting a Rig Recycle bin. All community members are able to participate in their local communities, through Councils, corner stores, fishing clubs and other community organisations. The program has already received support from Phillip Island Nature Parks, Port Phillip EcoCentre, Melbourne Water and Melbourne Zoo’s Seal the Loop initiative. 

To find out where your closest Rig Recycle bin is located or to submit an expression of interest to host a Rig Recycle bin click here

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