Frequently Asked Questions
What is monofilament?
Most fishing line that you can buy today is made of monofilament-a
single-strand, strong, flexible plastic that is clear or tinted
blue, pink or green.
Why is monofilament a problem in the
Most monofilament is non-biodegradable and can last hundreds of
years depending on environmental conditions. Because it is thin and
often clear, it is very difficult for birds and animals to see and
they can easily brush up against it and become entangled in it.
Once entangled, they may become injured, may drown, may become
strangled, or may starve to death. Many animals also ingest fishing
line. One recovered sea turtle was found to have consumed 590 feet
of heavy-duty fishing line.
How does monofilament end up in the
Much of the fishing line that ends up in the water gets there when
someone's hook gets snagged on something underwater and the line
breaks when pulled. Sometimes the line will rub against a sharp
shell (like an oyster shell) and will break. Large fish can
sometimes pull hard enough to break lines. Sometimes fishing lines
get caught in trees and break off there. Even fishing line that is
thrown in the garbage can end up in the environment-either by
blowing out of the garbage can or landfill, or by being taken out
by birds or animals.
Can all fishing line be
No, only fishing line that is a single filament, nylon product.
Fishing line that is braided or contains wire can not be recycled.
Fishing line that has a lot of growth on it or plant material mixed
up with it may not be recyclable.
Who does the recycling?
Pure Fishing America
(Berkley) in Iowa, 1900 18th Street, Spirit Lake, IA 51360-1041
How is monofilament
The monofilament is collected from recycling bins and cleaned of
hooks, leaders, weights, and trash by volunteers. It is then
shipped to the Berkley Pure
Fishing Company in Iowa. Berkley melts the line down into raw
plastic pellets that can be made into other plastic products
including tackle boxes, spools for line, fish habitats, and toys.
It is not made into more monofilament line.
How do I recycle my
You can mail it directly to Berkley (call
1-800-BERKLEY), deposit it in cardboard recycling boxes which can
be found in some tackle shops, or deposit it in an outdoor
monofilament recycling container.
What should I do about a tangled animal I
If a marine mammal or turtle is spotted, contact the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Wildlife Alert Program at 1-888-404-FWCC(3922). Some
birds can be untangled after first throwing a blanket over the
bird's head to limit their eyesight. Just be careful not to tangle
the bird in the blanket or towel! Refer to the brochures for further
How was MRRP originally
Brevard County MRRP and the MRRP website and workshops were funded
by a grant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission Advisory Council for Environmental Education.
I always throw my line in the trash, is
If you throw out monofilament you are still keeping it out of the
environment, but be sure to cut the line into short lengths (6" to
12"), because once it goes to the landfill it can be scavenged
there by animals trying to use it to build nests, or eat it. These
animals will get entangled, entangle their young, and will bring
the line right back out into the environment.
Can I put fishing line in my recycling
bin at home?
No. Fishing line is a high density plastic and requires a special
recycling process. It cannot go into the most regular household
recycling bins. Instead it can be brought to an outdoor
recycling bin or to a participating tackle shop. I. If you
spool line at home save it up in a box or bag and bring it to a
drop off location.
What kinds of animals are harmed by
There are many types of wildlife harmed by discarded fishing line.
They most frequently include birds, turtles, manatee, fish, and
dolphin, however these are not the only ones affected. Almost any
type of animal you can imagine can be entangled in line, or will
try to consume it. A turtle in New York State was found with 560
feet of heavy-duty monofilament in its gut.
How can I help?
There are many things that you can do to help keep line out of the
- Recover Your Line - Whenever
possible retrieve and properly dispose of any monofilament line
that you encounter. It is particularly important to take the time
to remove monofilament from the mangroves if it becomes tangled
there after miscasting.
- Volunteer - Participate in local
beach and river cleanup events. Volunteer for agencies that are
actively sponsoring cleanups. Volunteer to sponsor an outdoor
monofilament recycling bin and empty it of line on a monthly
- Be Line Conscious - Consider the
age of your line and its strength and keep track of and store loose
pieces of fishing line. Even tag ends cut from leaders can be
stored easily for proper disposal. Cut an 'X' into the lid of a
film or tennis ball canister to make it easy to poke the pieces of
- Recycle - Recycle monofilament
fishing line at a local tackle shop or an outdoor PVC recycling bin
posted at boat ramps and piers. If the tackle shop you visit does
not have a recycling bin encourage them to participate in the
- Boat Safety Rules - If you fish
from a boat make it a boat rule not to throw any kind of plastic
overboard and especially not monofilament line.
- Make a Donation - The MRRP is a
statewide effort funded in part by donations. You can help support
the program by making
How many states in the US have the
Since Florida initiated the program in 1999, several states have
implemented their own programs. For more information about other
states that have started recycling monofilament, visit the Other
Are there other countries that have
started the program?
Yes! Several other countries have joined in the fight against
monofilament litter and marine debris. Check out their programs on