Company Awarded $138K Grant to Develop Biodegradable Fishing Line
The announcement, which comes just two weeks after Kingston was named one of Canada’s top fishing towns for families, was made by Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson.
According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, millions of metric tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans, lakes and rivers each year, including more than eight million metric tons of plastic in the oceans alone.
A major contributor to marine debris is lost and abandoned fishing gear – one of the deadliest forms of plastic debris, with damaging impacts on marine animals like whales and turtles, the coastal and marine environment, and global fishing stocks. Fisheries and Oceans Canada also says that it is predicted there will be more plastic by weight in our oceans than fish by 2050.
“Canada’s oceans, waterways and inland lakes are a vital economic and recreational resource for Canadians, and important habitats for many marine animals,” said Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands, Mark Gerretsen, at the funding announcement. “Ghost gear [lost and abandoned fishing gear] poses a threat to the protection of these marine environments. Plantee Bioplastics’ biodegradable fishing line will reduce the risks to marine animals while allowing Canadians to continue to enjoy recreational and commercial fishing.”
The company will utilize this new funding to further the development of their biodegradable fishing line with reduced decomposition time. The material will biodegrade when underwater, leaving little to no waste while also having an increased lifetime in storage.
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In a joint statement, Plantee Bioplastics Inc. co-founders Richard Chen, Praphulla, and Prashant Agarwal said that fishing lines and nets made from fossil-fuel derived plastics are a detrimental toward marine life, adding: “Recycling and disposal of used fishing gear is also challenging in Canada, and strains our recycling facilities.
Through the use of bioplastics, Plantee Bioplastics Inc. is developing sustainable, drop-in solutions for these issues which can be applied at the manufacturing stage. The grant from the Department of Oceans and Fisheries Canada will empower Plantee Bioplastics Inc. to reduce or eliminate the problem of ghost fishing gear and aquatic plastic pollution through our biodegradable fishing line. ”
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