THUNDER BAY – Norm Price was tossing back a few brews with colleagues a few years ago when he happened to bend his bottle cap and flip it onto a desk.
It landed next to a fishing hook and he had his eureka moment.
He put the two together and bet a friend $50 he could land a trout using his new creation.
“Down to the Bow River in Calgary I went. It’s a renowned trout river, and within 15 minutes I pulled in a 28-inch brown trout. It was like, voila,” Price said on Tuesday, during a two-day stop in Thunder Bay at the Canadian Tire on Fort William Road.
Price, who originally hails from Ignace and now calls Regina home, started the Bottle Cap Lure Company and began hitting up local bars and restaurants in search of the materials he needed to build more lures.
He quickly realized there was more to the story, which led to the creation of the non-profit Hooked on Recycling, his attempt to help them divert as many of the billions of bottle caps from landfills around the world.
“It’s becoming a really good thing for bars and pubs to do, instead of the caps going to the landfill sites,” Price said.
“We’re starting to put buckets out that are being supplied by Home Depot, into campsites, bars, pubs and restaurants for collection purposes.”
The excess bottle caps, the ones not turned into lures, are sent off for recycling, melted down and turned into new products.
Because the company is non-profit, the shipping costs are tax deductible, Price said.
“There are billions of bottle caps that go into landfill sites, lakes, rivers and streams or are tossed into campfires every year,” he said. “I think it’s really important for us to realize the environmental impact that we’re having.
“All these big multi-billion breweries are out there making tons of profits, but yet bottle caps have never, ever been recycled. Even a lot of the bottle depots discard them.”
To help promote the product, the two companies have launched a $100,000 contest, the prize handed out to the angler who catches the largest fish using one of the lures, which feature either original beer company logos or have been custom designed. There are also family friendly designs.
A $50,000 prize is being offered to the angler who lands the most fish this year using a bottle cap lure.
“Anybody who wants to come to the Canadian Tire store (on Wednesday) here on Fort William Road, will actually receive a free six-pack for anybody who signs up for the fishing contest,” Price said.
To register, visit www.beercaplure.ca. There’s a $50 entry fee and a bonus $50,000 prize to the angler who catches the most fish by year’s end using the lures.