How to recycle fishing line

We’ve all been there.

You’re enjoying a beautiful day on the water when, for some reason, you have to re-tie your fishing line.

Whether it is because of a tangle or it’s just time to switch baits, cutting and discarding fishing line is simply part of the experience.

But even though this frequent occurrence can become mundane, it’s important to be mindful of how you handle your scrap line.

Fishing line can take hundreds of years to break down. During that time, it is not only an unsightly source of litter, but it can also be a hazard to wild animals that can become entangled. By one estimate, over 1 million birds per year die after getting tangled in lost fishing line. This makes proper disposal crucial.

For many years, I simply cut up my old line into small pieces and placed it in the garbage, where it is sealed off and kept away from wildlife. However, there is another, more environmentally-friendly, solution.

Since they are constructed of single strands of plastic, both monofilament and fluorocarbon fishing line can be recycled.

Because of the nature of the plastic used in creating these lines, placing your old line in your recycling bin at home won’t do the trick. Thankfully, there are other options.

Several Wisconsin DNR service centers accept monofilament and fluorocarbon fishing line for recycling and a growing number of bait shops, boat launches, and fishing piers also have collection points.

You can even mail your old line directly to Berkley and they will recycle it for you.

Simply mail your package to:

Berkley Recycling

1900 18th Street

Spirit Lake, Iowa 51360

They will take care of the rest.

These items can then be melted down into plastic pellets and used to make other products such as spools.

It is important to note, that only the line itself is recyclable. So old line must be free of sinkers, hooks, swivels, and any other non-recyclable objects before being turned in.

Braided and fused line contain metal, so they cannot be recycled. But it is still recommended that you cut your old line into small pieces and dispose of it in a sealed container to minimize the potential for negatively impacting wildlife.

Remember, always leave your fishing spot better than you found it. Together, we can help reduce litter and threats to wildlife in the outdoor spaces we all enjoy.

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