What is the first thing that comes to you mind when I say lobsters? Immediately images of a spiny monster might appear in front of many of you, while the others would see a tempting grilled lobsters being served to them. However, none of you will imagine a golf ball, right? But, researchers at the University of Maine will change your opinion soon. UMaine Biological and Chemical Engineering Professor David Neivandt and undergraduate student Alex Caddell of Winterport, Maine have teamed up with The Lobster Institute to develop a biodegradable golf ball made from lobster shells. Now, the golfers can enjoy the game without having to worry about the harm that the conventional golf balls cause to the aquatic life and the environment.
Intended for use on cruise ships, this new ball is made from crushed lobster shells with a biodegradable binder and coating. It is claimed to be the world’s first ball that is made from lobster shell. The idea of this unique, eco-friendly ball was given to Bob Bayer of The Lobster Institute by Carin Poeschel Orr, who holds a master’s in marine bio-resources from UMaine. The raw materials for the lobster shell balls cost just 19 cents per ball, which means the cost of each ball is expected to be really low. UMaine has recently filed a provisional patent for the lobster-shell mixture. This mixture can also be used for products like plant pots that decompose in the ground, surveying stakes and other applications. It really interesting to see byproduct of the lobster canning industry which presently ends up in landfills being utilized in such a eco-friendly and innovative way.