Though biodegradable golf balls already exist, this is the first to be made with crushed lobster shells with a biodegradable binder and coating, creating value from waste material."UMaine Researchers Use Lobster Shells to Create Biodegradable Golf Ball" (via Inhabitat)
“We’re using a byproduct of the lobster canning industry which is currently miserably underutilized – it ends up in a landfill,” (engineering professor David) Neivandt says. “We’re employing it in a value-added consumer product which hopefully has some cachet in the market.”
And that cachet doesn’t come with a higher price tag. Biodegradable golf balls that are now on the market retail for a little under $1 per ball. The raw materials for the lobster shell balls cost as little as 19 cents per ball.
(BioEngineering undergrad Alex) Caddell, a golfer, says the balls perform similarly to their traditional, white-dimpled counterparts. And they can be used with both drivers and irons.
“The flight properties are amazing,” Caddell says. “It doesn’t fly quite as far as a regular golf ball, but we’re actually getting a similar distance to other biodegradable golf balls.”
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.