Leading tackle company’s conservation commitment advances towards carbon neutrality, zero waste and healthy fishing
Beyond the obsession with fighting big fish, there is one thing anglers almost universally agree on: clean, healthy waterways and thriving fish habitat lie at the heart of everything we hold sacred. .
Count the folks at Z-Man Fishing among America’s 60 million anglers, everyday folks you might meet at the tackle shop or along the coast. At some point each day, we will stop casting, inspect our surroundings, and simply marvel at the beauty both above and below the surface; we will pause to reflect on what this impressive place will look like in 5, 10 or 100 years. It’s times like these that fishermen harness their power to write the future, the same reason Z-Man has been working for years in creative and quiet ways to help keep fisheries healthy and vibrant behind the scenes.
It started early in the company’s 30-year history. From the beginning, Z-Man understood the value of supporting causes that ensure the long-term sustainability of fisheries and aquatic environments. These motivations are evident in Z-Man’s own product line, as its 10X Tough ElaZtech® soft plastic material exhibits Advantages that reduce your environmental impact relative to other soft baits.
ElaZtech’s increased durability not only reduces the amount of soft plastic baits used by anglers, ingested by fish, or discarded in the water, but Z-Man’s specialized material is also 100 percent non-toxic and free of Harmful chemicals like phthalates. Plus, ElaZtech floats and is FDA Food Grade compliant, unlike traditional plastisol baits, which sink to the bottom and can be ingested by fish and other wildlife, sometimes causing digestive issues, among other issues. Conversely, any inadvertently discarded ElaZtech bait will float and can be easily picked up from the surface of the water for proper disposal.
Sustaining the Aquatic Ecosystem
Part of Z-Man’s mission has always been to promote causes that preserve healthy ecosystems and improve fishing opportunities. Today, Z-Man’s support of such initiatives ranges from backing action-oriented groups like Captains for Clean Water and Release Over 20 to empowering future fisheries management through postgraduate research fellowships endowed by Z-Man at the University of Florida Nature Coast Biological Station in Cedar Key. .
In seeking opportunities to conserve precious fisheries while minimizing their impact on nature, Z-Man’s management identified essential actions to significantly reduce its carbon footprint. “Two aspects of our manufacturing process that we have always felt could be improved include minimizing the energy we draw from the electrical grid and finding a way to recycle manufacturing waste from our ElaZtech production line,” comments the president of Z- Man, Daniel Nussbaum, a long-time conservationist and forward-thinking seafood executive. “Most companies can buy enough carbon offsets to claim they are carbon neutral, but our goal was to find ways to really reduce the impact of our production-related activities.” As a result of his initiatives, Z-Man recently achieved exciting benchmarks in an ongoing quest to give back to aquatic environments.
Solar Bait Making
Last year, phase one of the Z-Man sustainability program included the installation of a vast array of solar panels with the goal of self-generating a perpetual power supply. By nature, solar energy is a low emission energy source; The solar panels themselves produce zero pollution. Conventional energy sources, by contrast, typically involve burning fossil fuels, which emit up to 37 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the global atmosphere annually.1
Nussbaum summarizes the first results: “After just one year of solar power generation, we are almost one hundred percent self-sufficient,” he says. “In fact, instead of paying big energy bills during the summer, we are actually selling electricity to the power company. It’s quite an exciting development that exceeded our initial hopes and started us on the path to minimizing our carbon footprint.”
Recycling of ElaZtech soft baits
Specifically for the on-site manufacturing of its environmentally benign ElaZtech soft baits, Z-Man recently achieved a second sustainability milestone. For the past several years, Z-Man staff have been looking for ways to prevent their manufacturing waste from reaching landfills. Despite the challenges in recycling this unique material, largely due to the pigments, glitter, and salt used in the production of fishing lures, Z-Man eventually came up with a successful plan.
“Although elaztech it’s completely non-toxic, we still felt it was critical to keep our leftover manufacturing material out of landfills,” says Nussbaum, who helped formulate a two-part solution. “First, we worked hard to come up with a way to efficiently reprocess about 60 percent of our scrap ElaZtech material to make new baits. We also reuse leftover material to rinse and clean our machines.
“Second, and perhaps the most exciting aspect of our plan, is working with a third-party manufacturing scrap reprocessor that can reuse the material,” continues Nussbaum. “After years of searching, we finally found a company that can use our ElaZtech waste as an ingredient in new shoe soles. In addition to the environmental benefits of keeping these materials out of landfills, recycling has generated significant cost savings compared to traditional waste disposal methods.”
At least part of the appeal of fishing is that positive and uplifting outcomes can be created by all involved while on the water, from catch and release to litter pickup along the shoreline and proper fishing line disposal. and used lures. Easy solutions are already at your fingertips, individually or across the organization. Every effort helps, always with the promise of sustaining natural places where water flows and wild fish inhabit.
About Z-Man Fishing Products: A dynamic company based in Charleston, South Carolina, Z-Man Fishing Products has been fusing cutting-edge fishing tackle with technology for nearly three decades. Z-Man has long been one of the industry’s largest suppliers of silicone skirt material used in jigs, spinnerbaits, and other lures. Creator of the original ChatterBait®, Z-Man is also the renowned innovator of 10X Tough ElaZtech soft baits, quickly becoming the most sought after baits in freshwater and saltwater. Z-Man is one of the fastest growing lure brands in the world.