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New Eco-Friendly Golf Balls Made From Lobster Shells

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.

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Photo credit: Digital Sextant

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73 comments

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2:31AM PDT on Oct 13, 2011

Good for environment

1:10PM PDT on May 1, 2011

wow

1:10PM PDT on May 1, 2011

wow

5:57AM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

inspiring articele.

1:51PM PDT on Apr 17, 2011

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

6:39PM PDT on Apr 16, 2011

doesn't sound too lobster friendly

6:01AM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

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

5:57AM PDT on Apr 11, 2011

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.

11:38AM PDT on Apr 10, 2011

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

9:26PM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

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.

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