Monofilament Education & Recovery
What is monofilament?
Monofilament is fishing line (sometimes called mono) that is made from a single fiber of plastic, as opposed to braided fishing line constructed from multiple fibers of material. Most fishing lines are now monofilament because monofilament fibers are cheap to produce and are produced in a range of diameters which have different tensile strengths (called "tests" after the process of tensile testing). Monofilament line is also manufactured in different colors, such as clear, white, green, blue, red, and fluorescent.
Why is monofilament dangerous?
Discarded monofilament lines can present serious environmental problems. These lines are extremely difficult to spot when submerged in water, and fish, birds, and other marine life can easily become entangled, causing starvation, amputation, and death. Ingestion is also a serious threat to wildlife. Monofilament lines also present a risk to swimmers and scuba divers. The breakdown of lines, especially in string trimmers, leads to microplastics which may cause starvation or poisoning of organisms in soil or water.
What can you do to help?
Always make sure you dispose of monofilament properly. When you are fishing put the monofilament that you plan to discard in a sealed container so it does not end up as marine debris. Should your line get snagged try to remove it by tugging at different angles before cutting or snapping the line. Keep Pasco Beautiful has monofilament collection tubes that it maintains Pasco County. These locations along with other tubes can be found on the map below.
Some organizations recycle monofilament by sending it to facilities such as Berkley Recycling in Iowa. Pasco County has an Energy from Waste facility in Spring Hill that is operated by Covanta Pasco. We partnered with Covanta Pasco and Pasco County Environmental to bring the monofilament directly to the facility to ensure that it was properly disposed of. By processing the monofilament locally we are able to lower the carbon footprint of the program.