I've always thought it nuts that many cruise ships have golf ball driving ranges where you hit into the open seas. Isn't that, um, littering? Seems that University of Maine Researchers agreed, so they've developed a biodegradable golf ball from lobster shells. From UMaine News:
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.
"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."