Dow GLBI Turns Used Plastic Mesh into Recycled Plastic Golf Tees

The Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (Dow GLBI) has teamed up to produce 20,000 golf tees made from plastic mesh fencing recycled from the 2019 tournament. The partnership is an example of how the LPGA’s first GEO Certified® tournament’s sustainability focus.

“This is a prime example of how the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational is teeing up inventive ways to stage and host a tournament that minimize waste and save resources,” said Dow GLBI executive director Chris Chandler. “Our vision has been to host a tournament that benefits and engages the Great Lakes Bay Region locally and helps set a benchmark in sustainability for other golf tournaments and their commercial partners on the LPGA Tour.”

The mesh-to-tees project involved a collaboration between the Dow GLBI, Schupan Recycling, plastics recycler KW Plastics, tee maker Evolve Golf and Bull Engineered Products Inc. KW Plastics recycled the mesh and turned it into plastic pellets. Evolve Golf provided the mold machine needed to produce the tees, then Bull Engineering made the tees at its facilities.

“The project aligns with Dow’s commitment to close the loop and stop plastic waste,” said Dow Senior Customer Manager Toby Smith. “Turning plastic mesh into recycled plastic pellets that become a new, useful product – golf tees – demonstrates how collaborating across the value chain can help keep waste out of the environment and extend the useful life of plastics.”

This collaborative project and the tees will be on display for attendees to see at the Dow GLBI, which will be held July 12-17, 2021, at Midland Country Club. The mesh-to-tees project is part of a comprehensive 5-year Dow GLBI sustainability strategy that includes efforts to minimize and mitigate the tournament’s climate impact; promote biodiversity; advance resource efficiency and a circular economy; increase access, equity and diversity inclusion; and inspire others beyond the event.

The project also builds on the tournament’s sustainability leadership. The inaugural Dow GLBI, held in 2019, was the first-ever professional golf tournament to be designated a GEO Certified® Tournament during its first year of operation and the first event on the LPGA Tour to be fully certified. The certification, awarded by the Scotland-based GEO Foundation (GEO), is an internationally recognized award for sustainability in golf. Read more about the Dow GLBI’s sustainability efforts here.