Is my Bowling Ball ORGANIC?
By John Baker Sr.
Of course not. We here couldn’t help, but now ask the question in this day and age of GOING GREEN and jobs moving off shore, there are certain ball manufacturers moving their factories south of the border or overseas. Wouldn’t it be advantageous to move towards a green or greener way of manufacturing bowling balls?
A little background of our modern high performance balls are made of a Reactive Resin Urethane. The “ Plastic“ ball are actually a Polyester material . Lets start with the bowling balls its self. Is it possible to manufacture a High performance ball greener? With the very nature of the chemicals used in the process it does seem very doubtful. First marketed in the early 1990s, reactive resin shells—used to help improve ball friction—are a mixture of urethane and a proprietary ingredient that generates surface porosity while the polymer base cures. Ball makers mix isocyanates and polyols to form the base urethane resin, but companies are unwilling to reveal the exact identity of the various reactive plasticizers ingredients they use. Some research has brought up a few plasticizers i.e.
Diisooctyl phthalate (DIOP), all-purpose plasticizers for polyvinyl chloride, polyvinyl acetate, rubbers, cellulose plastics, and polyurethane.
What happens to a bowling ball when it dies? Is there a bowling ball graveyard or could this ball be brought to a Recycling center that could repurpose it? Let’s say crush it down to make park benches, garden hoses or rubber mats etc.. I would defiantly buy a ball from a company that says it recycles or repurpose its balls. This could be a public relation home run for those companies that are under the scrutiny of the public for recent events. I would pay an extra 5 bucks like a core deposit on a battery if I knew that this was going to the recycling of my ball. Also that I would get that 5 bucks back when I turned it in to be disposed of.
Well forget the ball for now. Lets look at the box it came in. I know that cardboard is recyclable , so why don’t the ball manufacturers at the very least SAY they are using recycled cardboard for their boxes? This alone would be great PR for the companies and most of us would love to see the companies CARE about the environment by recycling. All it would take would be to print on the box “ Made of recycled materials” .
What about the core, rules say it cannot be made of metalic materials so what does that leave, Plastic! Well if it is plastic or rubber couldnt that be reclycled or made of recycled materials? That could be a great selling point for a company, that it uses recycled materials. If the core can be recycled then why not turn in the ball somewhere and cut the cores out and recycle? I know what you are going to tell me then all the equipment would cost us more . What costs more, a 10 to 15 dollar increase in the cost of an already 160 dollar ball, or perhaps it might bring balls down a touch in price. It wouldn’t be a nice thing to learn that we have a landfill full of non biodegadable bowling balls that can’t be disposed of because we didn’t recycle them when we had the chance and the technology.
We now end this column with the same question we started with” Is my bowling ball organic?” If we have the technology to recycle bowling balls or use recycled materials in our equipment then why haven’t the bowling ball manufacturers done so? Do bowling ball companies have a plan to go GREEN? I think with your help and comments, we might be able to make them aware!!!