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Soft Plastics

Discussion in 'Fishing General Chat' started by diesel, May 5, 2018.

  1. diesel

    diesel Well-Known Member

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    I recently bought a packet of Squidgies Bio Tough soft plastics and the label states: ‘Verified 50% Biodegradable Synthetic Bioplastic’.

    That sounds pretty, damn impressive, they should be environmentally friendlier than a lot of other soft plastics that I use, but is it just a load of marketing bs? If 50% is biodegradable, then what about the other 50%?

    I’m not a ‘greenie’ by any means, but I do care for the environment to a certain degree and nothing pisses me off more than the amount of plastic pollution in our waterways, both salt and fresh, the two main offenders being discarded drink bottles and plastic bags. There would hardly be a beach or river around the country where you don’t come across a bag with the label ‘Tweed Bait’, they have been packaging bait for the past 50 years in tough non-biodegradable bags that will most likely still be in useable condition for the next 500 years. Do I blame Tweed Bait for their part in the pollution? Bloody oath I do, they are just as much at fault as the moron who throws the empty bag in the water or leaves it laying for somebody else to clean up.

    Anyway, off the soapbox and back to soft plastics. Should those of us who use them be concerned that we are maybe contributing to the problem of plastic pollution, albeit in a small way?

    Jeff
     
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  2. creekboy

    creekboy Well-Known Member

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    A very good question there, Jeff. Cheers, creekboy.
     
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  3. kev209

    kev209 Well-Known Member

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    I got talking to an old fisho I met while fishing off Ferguson st Pier at Williamstown sometime ago. Pollution of our waterways was his main concern. He said he used to fish the Maribynong River and in those days it was Hessian bags that got wrapped around the prop, hitting Beer bottles floating everywhere just the neck of the bottle sticking out of the water. Tin cans, bottles and paper left on the banks most of which would finish up in the river, and would break down in time except the bottles. He pointed to an old plastic bait bag floating near the Pier and said that stuff will never break down, about 20% of fisherman just throw there left overs into the water when they were packing up. This old bloke was dead set against plastic bags and the manufacturers that used them. That would be well over 20 years ago.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
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  4. Rod Bender

    Rod Bender Well-Known Member

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    I have noticed at times soft plastics which are biodegradable but I haven't based my purchasing on this aspect. I wonder if there is any time frame that the manufacturers use in regards to classifying a product as 'biodegradable'? As in if it breaks down in 50 years!

    But I think the production of biodegradable soft plastics should be high on the list for the manufacturers...and people like me should change their ways. Another important aspect is the amount of lead hurled into our waterways be it jig heads or sinkers. Many lures, if not all lures made in the USA come with a warning if the lure contains lead.
    cheers
    Team Bender
    Environmental terrorist!
     
  5. kev209

    kev209 Well-Known Member

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    The other week while at BCF I saw they had Enviro weight sinkers, I asked the sales girl what they were made of, her reply was Iron. The first time I have seen them [or noticed them]
     
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  6. Rod Bender

    Rod Bender Well-Known Member

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    They have been available for a few years at least Kev...problem is they are too expensive.
    cheers
    Jim
     
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  7. Bluefin

    Bluefin Well-Known Member

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    I find it hard to blame Tweed Bait, As i see it, they have packaged the product in a way that it will last, and Wont leak or puncture easily, Exactly what we want. WE are the ones to blame. I used to work near a Mc Donalds. The amount of drink , burger wrappings and boxes around the streets was disgusting. Macca's cant be blamed. Does packaging for bait that is biodegradable exist ? Please don't take this as a criticism, Just a different view point to consider. Howard.
     
  8. kev209

    kev209 Well-Known Member

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    I agree we are the ones to blame. I had a great little spot to fish, didn't catch much just the odd carp, but it was very accessible for me, but the idiots left all there junk behind lit fires and caused a bit of damage so it's now fenced off. I have been told some property owners won't let fisho's onto there property for the same reason.
     
  9. diesel

    diesel Well-Known Member

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    It's a grey area, Jim. There are some plastic products advertised as being biodegradable that fall short of manufacturers claims in that they will degrade at a far slower rate than can be reasonably expected. A lot of plastic shopping bags will degrade in 3 to 6 months and Berkley claim that Gulp soft plastics will fully degrade in 2 years in seawater and 8 to 10 months in landfill - a claim that I disbelieve based on my own experience. To be classed as fully biodegradable, a product must revert to carbon, hydrogen and oxygen with no other component present at the completion of the degradation process - this does not happen with Gulp.

    I respect your view point, Howard and I don't take it as criticism. Having come from a working background that entailed a lot of problem solving in mechanical processes and also OH&S, I have long worked to a theory that the application of elimination, substitution or engineering will solve practically any problem.

    My reason for blaming Tweed Bait for the pollution caused by their plastic bags is simply that it is more reasonable to expect a company that churns out in excess of 50,000 bags of bait per day to have the means to change their operation than it is to expect every person who purchases their product to dispose of the empty bag responsibly. Humans have been polluting the planet ever since they swung down out of the trees and will always do so - it is not in their nature to change, but companies like Tweed Bait can change to lessen the impact that their product has on the environment. The application of elimination, substitution or engineering will provide the answer.

    Biodegradable plastic bags do exist that can be substituted for their existing bags, but that comes at a cost that they more than likely don't wish to incur.

    Jeff
     
  10. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    My bit on a great subject: Some time ago I listened to Steve Starling of Squidgy fame (but no longer I think). He lives here. He spoke of lakes overseas where soft plastics ringed the shores, in places in bands centimetres wide. We have nothing like that here. In fact I hardly ever find one. Starlo spoke of some who have been making so-called biodegradable soft plastics for years. Not certain but felt Gulp may have been one. He named the chemicals used in the making but I can't remember their names. His argument was that the breaking down of the material used is only part of the problem; going on to explain that the solid elements may dissolve but in most cases the chemicals remain active. I had not considered that before. Keeping it overly short; he added that Squidgy were back then, working toward a truly biodegradable plastic that left no chemical residue. I don't know if they succeeded or if Jeff's soft plastics are of that ilk, but at least Squidgy were having a go at the problem and I give them 11/10. Regardless of whether we blame manufacturers, retailers, or consumers; there still must be a dramatic reduction in plastics use. If we use it more carefully; no matter who handles it; it still ends up somewhere and simply putting it in landfill is not good enough. We must reduce its usage. I read that the average usage life of a plastic shopping bag is a little over fifteen minutes; yet it takes at least ten years to break down. Go back to my early Squidgy comments. Has it 'TRULY' broken down? No! the nano particles are still all there and are now being found in fish caught commercially for consumption, plastic is taken
    in massive quantities
    from poop from birds and animals all over the world, to say nothing of the visual result of it being everywhere. Just my thoughts. Noel.
     
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  11. Bluefin

    Bluefin Well-Known Member

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    Food for thought Noel!! I have been using Z Man a lot, they are effective and last a long time on the hook because of their elastic material. I use far less than other plastics, sometimes weeks before they need changing. Biodegradable ? I doubt it !!
     
  12. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    Good line there. I have never used Z Man. I've always been 99% a Squidgy fan. But using less plastic is the key to much of the problem. I look around and see a plastic heat proof cover on the dining table. The computer is largely plastic, a couple of plastic ball point pens lie nearby, there are plastic items spread around kitchen benches and outside I see plastic furniture. How much plastic goes into a vehicle these days? In various forms it's even in the clothing fabrics we were. The continued use as we know it is unsustainable. Noel
     
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  13. diesel

    diesel Well-Known Member

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    So what do you do with the busted sp's, those that have had a great chunk bitten off or through continued strikes have just reached their 'use by date'?

    An interesting read here on Frankenstein lures. http://www.lurelovers.com/forum/lur...0.html?SID=4211-eb88fze56ac7zdd6e8a3017662037

    Instead of binning all those busted bits where they will eventually end up in landfill, perhaps it could be a worthwhile exercise to resurrect them into a truly unique new lure.

    Jeff
     
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  14. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    I had a look at that article Jeff. It's fairly large and will read it later.

    Briefly; I have been reattaching tails and using bits in that way for years. It can be done on the water using a tiny spot of super glue but I prefer to do it at home with an equally small dab of any contact adhesive. Super glue makes a hard spot in the body. I have original body colours with different tails and some; like the article images; have no resemblance to the original at all. And they do work. It's hasn't been for me, anything to do with economics or environment. I just try not to waste too much stuff and it's part of fiddling with fishing gear when the weather is similar to today. B...A... Noel
     
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  15. diesel

    diesel Well-Known Member

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    You're one step ahead of me, Noel, or maybe even two o_O

    Jeff
     
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  16. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    I very much doubt that.
     
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  17. diesel

    diesel Well-Known Member

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  18. Bluefin

    Bluefin Well-Known Member

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    I cary superglue in my tackle box I use it to repair SP's and secure them to the jig head, especially Z man. I buy a cheap multi pac from Bunnings . Howard.
     
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  19. diesel

    diesel Well-Known Member

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    Howard & Noel, you blokes are right on the money with superglue. I played around with some sp's of different brands & colours to see how they would look, sort of a cut & shut exercise and the superglue passed the test. The imagination can run wild with new creations.

    Jeff
     
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  20. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    G'day Jeff.

    I totally believe this exercise produces a train of thought that should be considered further. When we chop and change tails and plastic bodies with different colours etc., we are substantiating a long term belief of mine. As the actress said to the Bishop; 'It's not what you've got; but how you use it that matters'.

    It tells me without doubt that all the fancy designs and colours we buy are not worth much at all and also means that the way we use these lures is far more important than either colour or shape. Regardless; it's a bit of fun doing it.

    What think you?
     
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