Bioplastic Fishing Lures: A Solution to Fishing-induced Microplastics

Student | Ali Vedad Yuner
Faculty | Jeanne Pfordresher
School of Design, Undergraduate Industrial Design

Soft plastic fishing lures come in packs of 8-10, and are designed to be expendable. These lures are made from Plastisol; a suspension of PVC in phthalates. Both of these chemicals are toxic to the environment, and they contribute to micro-plastics in the oceans. Bioplastics are a remarkable solution to expendable fishing lures, as they can be consumed by organisms, effectively integrating them into the food chain and reducing their impact.

Bioplastic soft plastic fishing lures perform just as well as their synthetic counterparts, with no detrimental effect on the environment.

As single-use plastics have plagued the earth with micro-plastics, alternative low-impact materials are being sought after more than ever. Bioplastics are one such material, consisting of biopolymers that are soluble in either water or alcohol. Posing much shorter lifespans and full biodegradability, bioplastics are a sufficient alternative to petroleum-based plastics. Soft plastic fishing lures are often discarded into the ocean during fishing sessions, releasing harmful PVC and phthalates upon decomposing into micro-plastics. The single-use nature of soft-plastic fishing lures makes them appropriate for bioplastics.