The Rig Recycle concept was developed by Tangaroa Blue Foundation and is an initiative of ReefClean. It was developed to help overcome issues such as pollution from discarded fishing gear, while also reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill.
In an Australian first, it is now possible to recycle your unwanted fishing tackle at all Queensland BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing stores through a new recycling pilot.
Tangaroa Blue Foundation in partnership with fishing conservation charity OzFish Unlimited launched the program together with BCF who are opening their doors for recreational fishers to bring in their old, unwanted or recovered fishing tackle and dispose of it in purpose-built Rig Recycle bins.
CEO of Tangaroa Blue Foundation Heidi Tait said it is the first rig recycling program in Australia.
“There are only three other known rig recycling programs in the world, so it’s a gamechanger for the fishing industry,” said Heidi.
“Tangaroa Blue Foundation puts equal emphasis on the removal and prevention of marine debris and pollution in our waterways through targeted projects like ReefClean and Rig Recycle.”
“Data from our Australian Marine Debris Initiative Database (AMDI) shows that monofilament line makes it into the top 10 items found during clean-up events. With an average of 125 meters of fishing line recovered during every AMDI clean-up, this initiative stands to have a significant impact in reducing waterway pollution from fishing gear and reducing waste sent to landfill,” stated Heidi.
BCF is equally excited to be backing the program and making positive changes to the industry.
“BCF is thrilled to be involved in this innovative trial where we offer our customers an option to reduce the impact of our own industry on the planet”, stated BCF Managing Director Paul Bradshaw.
“OzFish are sustainability trailblazers and the projects … are having a tangible effect on our nation’s waterways. I believe our customers will support it and we hope to then roll it out across the country,” stated Paul.
All Qld BCF stores now have Rig Recycle bins with more to be rolled out in other states.
“Recreational fishers now have a way to recycle their fishing tackle and play their part in reducing the impact this waste has on our waterways,” says founder and CEO of OzFish, Craig Copeland.
“This program goes one step further than a traditional tangle bin, targeting fishing tackle items that can be recycled or reused. When developing this program, we did not just want to add this rubbish to landfill, that’s not really looking at the entire problem,” Craig said.
All the tackle placed in the Rig Recycle bins will be assessed by OzFish or Tangaroa Blue volunteers and sorted to be either recycled by Tangaroa Blue or repaired and up-cycled by OzFish volunteer fishers, into small packages for other charities.
“We can refurbish hard lures with new paint, bibs, split rings and hooks, with fishing- based charities reusing them for more sustainable fishing,” Craig said.
“The Rig Recycle bin will take mono filament line, plastic line spools, hooks, sinkers, swivels, lures, jig heads and floats, broken or unwanted.”
“We need to look at a best practice circular system and how we can genuinely be sustainable as an industry.”
This project has been developed by Tangaroa Blue Foundation in collaboration with OzFish through their ReefClean initiative which is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust.