credit to: snapshot du jour
Did you know cork is ideal for recycling? Why? It is ideal for recycling because it is biodegradable, renewable, energy efficient, sustainable and 100% natural. Cork can be recycled into so many useful things, including: flooring, furniture, insulation, packaging materials and so on. Amorim understands how beneficial cork is and is why Amorim started ReCork America.
Amorim & Irmãos of Portugal is the world's largest producer of natural cork wine closures (over 3 billion annually). Amorim & Irmãos of Portugal and their U.S. sales offices, Amorim Cork America and Portocork America, are the companies behind the ReCork America program. They have put together a pilot program to recycle natural cork wine closures.
Why is cork so special? As mentioned above cork is biodegradable, renewable, energy efficient, sustainable and 100% natural. Cork is a material made of water-resistant cells that grows as the bark of the Cork Oak tree. This makes cork "lightweight, rot resistant, fire resistant, termite resistant, impermeable to gas and liquid, soft and buoyant". This is natural cork and natural cork should not be confused with synthetic cork, which is often not recyclable.
The Cork Oak tree needs a lot of sunshine, low rainfall and high humidity to grow. This is primarily the reason the tree grows in countries along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The countries that produce the most cork include Portugal, Algeria, Spain, Morocco, France, Italy and Tunisia. More than half of the world's cork originates in southern Portugal. Amazingly the Cork Oak tree can live average 150 to 200 years and does not need to be cut down to be stripped of the bark to produce the cork.
How does ReCork America collect the used cork? A lot of the used or extra cork comes from bottling lines, quality assurance laboratories and recycling partners that consist of restaurants, resorts, organizations, wine retailers, and wineries. Individuals can also donate their corks by mailing them in or dropping them off at a public collections location.
How much cork does ReCork America need? Well, to give you an idea, "it takes approximately 100,000 sparkling wine corks or nearly 300,000 wine corks to yield a ton (2,000 lbs.) of cork". That is a lot of cork. Just to give you an idea, these are some of the things cork can be recycled into: flooring tiles, shoe soles, flooring, furniture, bulletin boards, building insulation, fishing rod handles, place mats, automotive gaskets, packaging materials, under playground equipment, craft materials, sports equipment and soil conditioner.
Form more information about the program, the recycling partners or to find a public collection location near you visit ReCork America online.
Thanks for the tip Myra