Is the angling trade finally going green?

As the environment takes centre stage, players like Dynamite Baits, Aptus and the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme are taking bold action on sustainability... but anglers need to play their part too

Is the angling trade finally going green?

by Angling Times |

With environmental issues looming large in the minds of anglers, parts of the fishing world are taking bold steps towards a greener future.

Against a backdrop of spiralling plastic pollution, global warming and the recent COP26 summit, there is overwhelming demand for faster, more decisive action. But are businesses listening and are we doing anywhere near enough?

Dynamite Baits pledge carbon neutrality

With an ambitious approach backed by concrete goals, Dynamite Baits have continued to be among the boldest industry movers on sustainability. Besides aiming to be the first carbon neutral bait manufacturer by 2023, they have also massively committed to eradicating non-recyclables and transforming their operations base.

Operations Manger Dave Spence said: “This is something we really care about. We’re guys with families and kids and we want them to experience the natural world that’s brought us so much joy. We want our whole team involved in sustainability.

“At one time, sustainable materials cost up to 40 per cent more than what we had, but that’s shifting as the sector grows and prices level out as more companies make changes.”

Major retailers are also now on the case, with Angling Direct just one firm that has been switching from plastic to paper bags and offering collection points for the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme.

Dynamite Baits’ war on waste:

Key steps

Fully recyclable bait packaging: Across all of its ranges, the company is switching to 100 per cent recyclable packaging from distribution level to bait bags.

100 per cent of waste recycled at its operations base, thanks to a new program.

Rainwater use on-site is another smart initiative to cut down water consumption that puts pressure on reservoirs and rivers.

Carbon neutrality by 2023: A target that would put many governments to shame, never mind tackle and bait companies!

Whole staff approach to sustainability: All personnel are encouraged to act and share ideas, rather than just individuals.

Fully recyclable bait packaging
Fully recyclable bait packaging

Bold steps needed

While several companies we contacted provided no response, a broader drive towards sustainability in angling is evidently gaining pace. Lure makers Rapala is another company setting ambitious goals, including an end to all non-recyclable packaging. Meanwhile, carp tackle company Aptus operates a 100 per cent biodegradable packaging policy and even offers a ‘Return to Recycle’ scheme, allowing anglers to send hard-to-recycle plastics.

“Plastic waste and the environment are clearly on anglers’ minds,” said Aptus boss, Jack Sherrin. “Anglers want better choices – and we receive daily positive feedback on our packaging and other initiatives.”

Fishing line is another key area, successfully addressed by the pioneering Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme (ANLRS). Collection points have increased massively, with almost 10 million metres of line already dealt with.

The ANLRS has already dealt with almost 10 million metres of discarded line
The ANLRS has already dealt with almost 10 million metres of discarded line

Fishing clubs are increasingly playing their part, too, aided by strong rules on rubbish alongside support for the Angling Trust’s ‘Anglers Against Litter’ campaign.

On the ground, however, anglers often remain frustrated with the pace of progress and a lack of consumer choice. Fishing artist Chris Turnbull, who runs the ‘Anglers Against Single Use Plastics’ Facebook group, remarked that “while it’s good to see some companies getting their act together, many others and the Government itself have been pathetically slow at addressing the real issues.”

“There’s often no choice for the consumer – it’s still nigh on impossible to come out of a tackle shop without a pile of single use plastic. I guess all we can do is bang the drum until enough companies offer alternatives – and we can then simply boycott the rest.”

Angling artist Chris Turnbull is waging war on single use plastic
Angling artist Chris Turnbull is waging war on single use plastic

How we can all help to turn the tide

Support the good guys! Check out the green credentials of your favourite brands and see what they’re doing to help. If you want to see more action, tell them!

Store and maintain your tackle with care to avoid unnecessary waste. Donate unused gear to kids and angling coaches who will use it.

Use your local tackle repair experts. Rather than throw out damaged kit, get it refurbished. From broken reels to missing rod rings, it’s far better to repair and re-use than buy twice!

Buy quality, durable kit. In the long run, it’s less wasteful and cheaper than buying cheap, inferior tackle that won’t last.

Recycle and clean up where you can. We can all help the sport by picking up litter, even if it’s not our own. Don’t just bin items that can be recycled, such as paper, card and suitable plastics.

Support the Angling Trust’s Anglers Against Litter campaign to do your bit – see https://anglingtrust.net/get-involved/anglers-against-litter

Support the Angling Trust’s Anglers Against Litter campaign
Support the Angling Trust’s Anglers Against Litter campaign
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