Americans consume roughly 330 million cases of wine per year. While glass bottle recycling is easily accessible, what happens to all the corks? Cork is sustainable and biodegradable, but many still get tossed in the trash. Fortunately, many cork recycling programs are providing a new life for the corks after you're finished enjoying the wine.
Portugal is the world's largest producer of cork, a renewable resource that is harvested every 9 years. ReCORK America is a cork recycling program sponsored by Amorim of Portugal, one of the world's leading producers of cork. Its goal is to sustainably optimize cork recycling, producing everything from floors to sporting equipment. Their partnership with SOLE produces sandals and footbeds made from recycled cork. Many familiar names in the wine, retail and hospitality markets are working with ReCORK, including American Airlines/Sodexo, The Wine Tasting Network, Rodney Strong Wine Estates, Cakebread Cellars and Whole Foods Market, to name a few. ReCORK claims to have recycled 14.5 million corks since the program began in 2007.