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Blog: Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme

Our latest blog post comes from Richard Atkinson, Waterways and Environment Policy Officer, around how paddlers can get involved in the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme once Coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

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Whether you are an angler, a paddler (or both), the closure of our waterways over the next weeks will have a huge impact on our respective sports and prevent us getting out into the rural or urban environment and spending quality time on the water. I feel it is the right time to reflect on understanding the needs of each sport and how we can help each other and protect our native wildlife.

One issue that springs to mind is the disposal of fishing line. Anglers dispose of their used fishing line on a regular basis as it becomes weak and brittle. Sometimes line can also be lost in trees and vegetation when it is accidentally snagged whilst an angler is fishing. The majority of anglers will retrieve lost fishing line, but when it has been snagged in deep or fast flowing water it can be hard for them to reach. This presents an opportunity for canoeists to help. 

Line can be harmful to our wildlife and can a long time to break down. Recognising this issue, in 2018 a group of anglers set up the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme (ANLRS), an initiative to recycle all forms of fishing line including monofilament, braided and fly fishing line. Line can be taken to collection bins or posted directly to the ANLRS for recycling. Volunteers have so far collected nearly 6 million metres of line and 250kg of plastic spools since the ANLRS launch. 

The ANLRS has grown rapidly, with over 300 fishing tackle shops and 150 large fisheries now supporting the scheme by gathering used line in collection bins in their retail outlets and on the bank. This scheme is supported by the Angling Trust, Environment Agency and other wildlife organisations such as the RSPCA.

I would like to think both paddlers and anglers are guardians of the water environment and therefore I would like to encourage paddlers to support the ANLRS.

How can paddlers help when Coronavirus restrictions are lifted?

If you have found any fishing line then:

Step 1 

To find your local recycling point head to the  “Recycling Locations” page of the scheme website, www.anglers-nlrs.co.uk. This will show you all the shops and fisheries in the area close to you along with their contact details. 

Step 2

Keep all your old monofilament, braid or fly lines separate and take it along to your chosen recycling point. The shop may have bins for each but if they have one bin please leave the braid and fly lines in a bag in the bin to aid us separating it before recycling.

Step 3 

No recycling points near by? You can post it to us via ANLRS, c/o Tools n Tackle, 11 Bridge St, Newhaven BN9 9PH. 

All the collected fishing lines are sent to a specialist recycler. Here they are processed into materials that can be used to manufacture various items.

Can your canoe club help set up a collection station? If so, please let us know by contacting [email protected]