Positive movement being made in the fight against single-use plastic, but lack of pace in the packaging industry slows the will of the people.
 
“We are monitoring technology advancements and as and when viable replacements become available, we will surely be acting,” says Kevin Nash. He’s talking about the use of plastics and packaging. And his statement rings true across both the shooting and fishing industries. Everyone is looking. 
He continues: “This is subject that we consider a great importance for the future of the planet and it is our desire and wish to switch all our packaging to materials that are environmentally friendly.”
Sportsmatch, the UK-based scope mount specialists, knows all about the problems and pitfalls when it comes to packaging. Due to the nature of the product, it needs to be blister packed. Failure to do so means theft issues, and virtually no visible presence in a shop. It’s a must!
Matthew Ford-James, managing director of Sportsmatch, says: “The momentum is growing against the use of plastic – certainly single-use plastic. We’ve been let down by suppliers a couple of times and have even considered buying our own vacuum forming machinery to create our own blisters – but we’ve paused on this and are re-assessing the situation. It’s costly and momentum is building against plastics. Finding suitable biodegradable plastic is not an easy task though.”
Nobody is finding a solution? Well, not quite nobody… 
Rig Marole boss Nigel Harris thinks otherwise. His company is currently looking at repackaging to be more environmentally friendly – and he’s critical of the lack of movement in the trade by others.
“There are a lot of alternatives to plastics out there,” he says. “From wooden spools to biodegradable plastic alternatives – there is no shortage. And it’s good. Really good. Once I started looking I came up with hundreds of firms offering really good stuff. There isn’t really an excuse.”
But it’s costly. Or is it?
“What price do you put on the environment?” asks Nigel. “If we can’t look after our own planet, we shouldn’t even be allowed to live on it. The alternatives I’m looking at carry a little more cost – I’ll absorb some. Some of it will need to be passed on. But my attitude remains unchanged. We have to care for the environment and there is not price we can put on that.”
 
What about the bait market?
 
Bait packaging tends to be taken into the fishing environment, and sadly, often left as litter... we asked about future plans…
 
Howard Kaye, Marukyu: “Marukyu as a company take their ethical and environmental responsibilities very seriously indeed, whilst we currently still use single use packaging we (Marukyu worldwide) are currently exploring biodegradable substitutes as we realise the urgent need to do so. We are not yet in a position to swap to an environmentally sound alternative however in the near future we will be. When this occurs we will be the first to let you know.”
 
Daryl Hodges, Dynamite Bait: “As with all aspects of our manufacturing we aim to ensure our impact on the environment is as low as possible. We have made big steps forward on much more efficient use of all utilities and lighting especially. We also always try and select and source our packaging with the environment in mind – of course there is more that we can do as the packaging industry develops even more sustainable solutions. 
We have already made a conscious effort to change to more recyclable film on some products. Over the next 2-3 years as packaging develops we will continue to look into other options that further reduce the impact on the environment.”
 
Allan Parbery, Mistral Bait: “I think that you’ll be pleased to know that all of the packaging we use for the Mistral brand is recyclable and has been for many years. When we make OEM for other brands we try to ensure that we have an input into our customers packaging. I think we have been successful in getting the message across to people that the planet matters. A by product of using recyclable materials is that very often the pot or bag is of a much higher quality than just polythene. We don’t use any secondary packaging either - we sell singularly, rather than making trade packs that quite often are made of polythene and not, or not easily recyclable.”
 
Hayley Goldsmith, Bait-Tech:“We do take the issue seriously and a large amount of our packaging is recyclable or has been made from recyclable materials. It is not 100 per cent of our packaging, however it is something we are working on. We work with a variety of packaging manufactures who pass on relevant information and I keep up to date with news from the packaging industry to keep me informed of new developments. They are certainly much closer with being able to deal with this issue than they were say three years ago. We are, or course limited by the advancements in two external industries: packaging and recycling. There certainly needs to be more funds available for efficient recycling and more recycling plants across the world.”