Excessive pollution continues to increase its stranglehold on the world’s oceans and marine life. Large amounts of discarded non-biodegradable monofilament fishing line results in severe injury and often painful death of animals that become entangled in the near-invisible lines, which are also a hazard to humans swimming and scuba diving.
Over the past four years, DPI Plastics has stepped up to the plate in helping to preserve South Africa’s marine heritage by sponsoring the Fishing Line Recovery Programme – a major sustainability initiative that aims to reduce the amount of fishing line entering and remaining in the marine environment, with specially designed disposal bins placed along the Gansbaai shoreline.
Fishing Line Recovery Programme
A network of fishing line recycling bins has been placed by the Overstrand Municipality, in association with Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT), at local beaches and popular fishing spots in Gansbaai. Anglers are encouraged to recycle or dispose of their used fishing line at these bins, or repositories, which are manufactured from products donated by DPI Plastics.
“We supply the pipes and fittings to make these repositories, which are placed at angling hotspots for fishermen to discard their line and hooks. DPI Plastics has been involved with this project for a number of years, and has donated the material to manufacture hundreds of bins for the fishing line bin project nationally,” says DPI Plastics Marketing Manager, Martine Goodchild.
The responsibly-discarded line is collected and ultimately recycled. “We take the line to a fish line manufacturer that converts it into virgin nylon in the making of Weedeater gut. We are expanding into KwaZulu-Natal with the bins, but would also like to have a greater impact in the inland waterways, as well as where fishing occurs,” comments John Kieser, sustainability manager at Plastics SA, another sponsor of the initiative.
Plastics SA’s involvement
Plastics SA joined the project in 2010, with the aim to expand it to a national level within five years. “We realised quickly that we do not even remotely have the budget to take the project to its desired level,” Kieser adds. “Therefore we approached the South African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers’ Association (SAPPMA), and DPI Plastics stepped up with an initial cash sponsorship, as well as the material for making the bins.”
DPI Plastics is committed to sustainability, not only in terms of responsible manufacturing, but also with regards to supporting initiatives such as the Fishing Line Recovery Programme, which holds the potential for expansion, thereby ensuring the long-term sustainability of the South African coastline, by preventing marine debris such as fishing lines from entering in the first place.
Goodchild urges other manufacturers and companies to become involved in such ‘green’ initiatives, as Plastics SA is constantly in need of funding. Kieser points out that the success of the initiative to date can be seen in the decrease of line waste in angling ‘hotspots’ where such bins are located.
“The real success lies in the quantity of material retrieved from the various sites, which is substantial, especially from those popular angling spots. The raising of awareness of the impact of discarded material has also focused attention on the issue. The increase in requests from local authorities, fishing clubs, environmental agencies and concerned individuals is also a great indicator of the success, as well as the interaction and reports from all the various locations,” he concludes.
To learn more about the Fishing Line Recovery Programme, or to make a donation, visit http://www.dict.org.za/fishing_line_bins.php