by Green Plastics
Mike writes in to ask:
I am interested in finding a eco-friendly replacement for plastisol for use in soft plastic fishing lures. I have my own mould and make worms as a hobby. I am concerned about the effect of plastisol on our waterways and our fish and am interested to see if you know of any solution.
The mold is 2 pieces and I pour the plastisol in using a pyrex measuring cup.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks for your email, Mike! I think this is a great project, and a perfect application for home-made bioplastic. These types of lures should be easy to make, and will be completely biodegradable in the environment.
First, some background for people who might not be familiar with fishing lures. Soft plastic lures are produced from a liquid plastic plastisol. This material is manufactured as a white liquid about the consistency of water. When the plastisol is heated it turns clear and thickens to a material about the consistency of syrup, which upon cooling forms a soft plastic material. This is the basic material for making soft plastic lures.
Plastisol contains polyvinylchloride (PVC) and a plasticizer. The PVC is not biodegradable and will last many years in the environment. It will take a long time to break down, and will never actually biodegrade. Most soft lures also use substances called phthalates as plasticizers. Phthalates have been associated with public health risks.
The desire to fish in an ecologically responsible and safe way has been an increasing concern in recent years. One fun and very responsible way to make your fishing more ecologically responsible is to make your own environmentally-safe, bioplastic fishing lures.
If you want to make environmentally biodegradable molded fishing lures, the simplest moldable material is likely to be a gelatin viscose. One recipe for this material is described on p. 174 of the Green Plastics book. The basic recipe is this:
Good luck, happy experimenting … and happy fishing!