David Neivandt, a professor at the University of Maine, and Alex Caddell, an undergraduate student there, have developed a golf ball made from the shells of lobsters.
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,” 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.
So, will golf balls made of lobster shells be more likely to... end up in a trap? Not in the envisioned scenario. The balls were created specifically for use on cruise ships. Thus the emphasis on biodegradability.