We’re excited about our new cork recycling partner, ReCORK. ReCORK is North America’s largest natural wine cork recycling program.
ReCORK is an alliance of people and companies helping the environment by collecting and repurposing corks. ReCORK includes over 3,000 cork collection partners, and has recycled over 105 million corks. They grind the corks into material for producers making products like shoe soles, traction pads, and yoga blocks.
Look for the cork recycling bins in our stores near the wine department; if you cannot find the bin, please ask our staff. Remember, only natural cork can be recycled. Please keep artificial cork out of the bins.
ReCORK strives to make its processes as efficient and sustainable as possible, to avoid a negative impact on the environment. They monitor their carbon footprint, power their factory with hydroelectric power, use UPS’s carbon offsetting program, and plant cork oak trees. They have planted more than 8,000 cork oak trees! They’ve actually planted enough trees that their carbon footprint is considered carbon negative.
About Cork Trees
Cork is harvested from cork oak trees without hurting the tree. Harvesting the tree’s bark is actually healthy, and helps cork trees live over 300 years.
The cork bark is cut off every nine years, by hand. The tree then begins to regenerate bark. The bark is what turns into wine corks. Cork oak trees are great carbon sinks. They trap carbon in their bark; once harvested, they produce new bark and can trap even more carbon.
From ReCORK’s website, “The harvesting of a cork oak is one of the finest examples of traditional, sustainable land use. Cork oak forests are harvested for generations and cover nearly 2.7 million hectares of Portugal, Spain, Algeria, Morocco, Italy, Tunisia, and France.” Read more.
So remember to drink lots of wine and to bring us your corks! And look for special ReCORK products to appear in our stores around holidays throughout the year.