Trash poses a major hazard to animals. This week, we’re suggesting tips
for discarding trash to reduce harm to our fellow critters. Yesterday we
discussed balloons . Today, we take a
look at twine and fishing line.
Tip #3: Cut Twine and Fishing Line
We rely on twine
and fishing line to tie everything from packages to hay bales to fishing bait. Turns
out these all-purpose strings can also entangle wildlife.
Birds sometimes use twine
as nesting material, making them especially prone to these perils. Along with
moss and grass, ospreys like to adorn their nests with baling twine. They often snarl themselves in the twine, getting injured or even killed. In 2010, University of Montana researchers
reported that baling twine entangles and kills about 10 percent of osprey chicks annually
Fishing line is
typically made of monofilament, a thin and often clear material that can
easily ensnare wildlife, resulting in injury, drowning, or starvation. Animals
can also ingest fishing line. One
rescued sea turtle had consumed nearly 600 feet of fishing twine.
Use twine made
from natural materials, such as hemp or jute, rather than plastic. Cut twine, especially
baling twine, into small pieces before discarding.
does not biodegrade. You can take used monofilament fishing line to
recycling bins at your local tackle shop, which will often ship it to the
Berkley Recycling Center in Iowa. You can also
ship your old line to the Berkley Recycling Center directly. These eco-innovators will use your line to create
Fish-Habs , four-foot cube structures that attract fish and promote plant
growth, enhancing aquatic habitats, such as the spaces between pier pilings.
Melissa Pandika is an editorial intern at Sierra and a graduate journalism student at Stanford University. Her interests include environmental health
and justice, urban environmental issues, and conservation
biology. She has a soft spot for cetaceans.