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Recycle Your Corks

Many cork recycling programs are providing a
new life for corks

May 2, 2011

Cork is sustainable and biodegradable

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.

The Cork Forest Conservation Alliance (CFCA) began its recycling program, Cork ReHarvest, in 2008 to turn used corks into insulation, cork bobbers for fishing industry and other products. Look for their collection boxes at your local grocery store, tasting room or wine shop. For more more information, visit or

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