Life Cycle of a Baseball

By Collin Leavy

Raw Materials

In a standard Rawlings official major league baseball, there are several parts or layer in the product. There is leather, 4-ply wool, 3-ply wool, a much thinner yarn, thread, rubber, and cork. You get the leather from cows. They get the rubber from the rubber trees found in South America. The cork is stripped from from the bark of a tree every nine years. Cork is good because it is one of the most nonrenewable resources.

The Manufacturer

The product that I am showing is a baseball from the company of Rawlings. Rawlings does not discuss their environmental impact in their website. But, I can infer that they left out the fact that they help factory farms by allowing them to kill all of the cows and the rubber pills in the middle of the ball leave pollutants in the air when they make them.

Laws and Activism

There aren't that many people that are against the actual product of the baseball, but there are plenty of activists against the materials used to make them. One activist says that leather, which is used in baseballs, is horrible because it gives money right to the factory farms. There are still laws about the production of leather. The law says that the waste emitted by making this product has to be below a certain level and they encouraged leather makers to use a low-solvent finishing technologies. There are also websites that teach people how to reuse leather for different purposes.

End of Life

The baseball's leather and yarn individually biodegrade in about six months, but the rubber inside the middle of the ball will decompose in about thousand years. Landfills are made up of about 8 percent of leather, rubber, and fabrics (baseball materials). Unfortunately, major league games often use well over 50 baseballs a game every time a ball gets dirty lop-sided, or slick. After that, they get used for batting practice.

Claim

I think that people could reduce the negative on the environment by not throwing away baseballs when they get worn down because you can still use them even though they are not as good. The baseballs have a rubber pill in the center of the ball which can take thousands of years to decompose. Also, you have to kill a cow just to get the leather to make the baseball. The companies that buy these leathers give money right to the factory farms which can influence them to hurt and abuse the animals used to make them. If you throw away baseballs too soon, all the animals taht died so you can have that product would go to waste. Those animals aare also very important to the ecosystem so that everything else can live.

Bibliography

Works Cited

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The Pill of a Baseball. Digital image. Theveganshusband.wordpress.com. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

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With, In Association. Digestion (absence of Oxygen). Biodegradability of Leather. Web.