New Eco-Friendly Golf Balls Made From Lobster Shells

A research team at the University of Maine has developed a new variety of eco-friendly golf ball. The golf balls are made from ground lobster shell, a refuse byproduct from Maine’s lobster canning industry. They begin to dissolve in a little more than a week when submerged in water.

According to the Bangor Daily News, the eco-friendly balls are nearly indistinguishable from the common synthetic variety. “The weight’s the same. The size is the same,” said David Neivandt, the engineering professor who helped design the ball. “It flies straight when hit.”

“It drives like a real golf ball, and it sounds like a real golf ball [when hit],” added Bob Bayer, executive director of UMaine’s nonprofit Lobster Institute. “[But] if you look at a cross section, it’s very pink.”

Other biodegradable golf balls do exist, but they can be too lightweight to fly as well as a synthetic ball and too fragile to withstand a hit from a driver. Averaging a pricetag of $1 per ball, many golfers also find these alternative biodegrade-a-balls too expensive. UMaine’s lobster balls can be used with both drivers and irons, and production costs for the lobster balls total less than 20 cents each.

A primary goal of the project aimed to help diversify Maine’s lobster industry. By utilizing ground lobster shells, the golf balls will boost the value of a lobster fisher’s catch and reduce waste at canning facilities. “What we’re trying to do is take that waste stream and create a value-added product from it,” Neivandt said.

Neivandt and his team suggest that the ground shell material can be used in other products such as biodegradable flower pots. The University hopes to patent the lobster golf balls and begin marketing them within a few years.

Photo credit: Digital Sextant

74 comments

Swadeep Reddy
Swadeep Reddy4 years ago

Good for environment

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.5 years ago

wow

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.5 years ago

wow

klemens o.
klemens okkels5 years ago

inspiring articele.

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M.5 years ago

Thanks Miranda. Not really the best idea I have heard lately.

Bill K.
Bill K.5 years ago

doesn't sound too lobster friendly

Delana Darrow
Delana Darrow5 years ago

interesting thank you can't wait to see if it takes off.

Charlotte Perry
.5 years ago

People eat lobster. It's a great idea to use the shells for golf balls, flower pots, etc. The waste is there, use it. Hopefully it will give Maine's economy a boost and maybe even create a few new jobs. And eco-friendly??? Great idea.

Patrice Davis
Patrice D.5 years ago

First we kill the lobsters to satisy our palates, they we find a way to use their shells for biodegradable golf balls to help the environment...

"A primary goal of the project aimed to help diversify Maine's lobster industry. By utilizing ground lobster shells, the golf balls will boost the value of a lobster fisher's catch and reduce waste at canning facilities. "What we're trying to do is take that waste stream and create a value-added product from it," Neivandt said.

I say BS! Just pretty, socially pleasing words to cover the fact that it all comes down to greed. How much more money can those at the top make with this "diversity" is what it really comes down to. It's not the shell byproduct reduction or lost golf balls breaking down quickly. Sure, it sounds good, and I agree it's a step in the right direction, more biodegradable products from waste. However, the big issue is pollution. The best thing that humans could do to help end massive pollution and waste of grain and water is to go vegetarian, if not vegan. Realize that flesh is not needed at every meal. Meat eater or not, factory farms are NOT right - ethically, morally, or environmentally.

Watch with an open mind, then you make the choice...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es6U00LMmC4

pete M.
peter m.5 years ago

The water waste and chemical toxic chemicals are a total disgrace golf courses are profitable enterprises but a extravagance only affordable by a society that has the ability to waste needed resources indefinitely.