What happens after you pull the cork on your wine bottle?
Some people add the cork to a growing stash on the vague dream of someday making a corkboard, hot plate, or artistic creation. Good luck with that.
Others toss spent stopper in the trash to eventually decompose years later in a landfill—albeit thousands of years sooner than plastic corks.
ReCORK has a better idea: recycle natural wine corks.
Sponsored by world’s largest producer of natural wine corks, Amorim of Portugal and Amorim’s U.S. affiliates, the program accepts used corks and recycles them into other products, principally shoes made by SOLE.
According to their website—ReCORK.org—the program has recycled some 15 million wine corks.
SOLE uses recycled corks to replace petroleum-based material in sandals and flip-flops. As recycled supply increases, ReCORK plans on supplying cork to manufacturers of other products.
Two local businesses stepped up to go cork green: Pinkie’s and In Vino Veritas. Simply bring your corks to their locations and drop them in designated recycle boxes.
Don’t bring plastic or other closures. The point is to recycle natural cork, which comes from bark of cork oak trees. Cork is a green, renewable product. Cork oak bark can be harvested every six-to-nine years without harming the tree. Cork oaks live for 200 years or more. Each cork oak tree—most are in Portugal—produces more than one million wine bottle corks in its lifetime.
Do our earth a favor next time you pull a natural cork. Recycle at Pinkie’s or In Vino. Or get started on that cork project you’ve put off the past 13 years.
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• Mapema Malbec Mendoza. Flamboyant fruitcake: black currants & raspberries, figs, licorice, chocolate, spice; soft, sweet tannins. $22
• Enkidu Chardonnay Tin Cross. Food-friendly acidity, minerals; bread toast, tropical fruit, rich texture. $30