Cheers to Cork Recycling
Mar 02 2020
Update 07/15/2020: Our cork recycling program has temporarily been suspended. We hope to restart our program when our recycling partner resumes normal operations, date TBA.
In February, SCARCE’s cork recycling partner, ReCork, celebrated a milestone: over 110 million corks recycled. SCARCE became a ReCork Collection Partner at the end of 2017 and we think it is high time we take a look at how far we’ve come as well.
Thanks to everyone that has collected their corks and brought them to SCARCE, we’ve recycled over 66,900 corks!
That comes out to about 795 pounds of corks. Our growth trend looks good too: in 2018, we recycled just under 200 pounds and in 2019, we recycled over 500 pounds! Will we double our number again in 2020? That all depends on you!
We’ve collected well over 800 pounds of corks BUT the only corks that can be recycled are natural corks. Synthetic corks made from non-renewable plastic have replaced natural corks in some bottles and they can be surprisingly tricky to spot – just ask our volunteers! Fortunately, we can place those synthetic corks out in our resource center for teachers to reuse in science experiments and art projects but for most ReCork collection partners (and anybody reading from home), those synthetic corks are just trash.
If you want to make sure you avoid plastic impostor corks, ReCork has a handy tool to find out which wines use real cork called CORKwatch.
Cork is great, recycled cork is better
Cork is a renewable natural resource useful for many things beyond sealing bottles. It is made from the bark of the cork oak tree, the harvesting of which actually extends the life of the tree.
Cork can be used in place of environmentally harmful plastic and foam in a variety of products. Currently, ReCork grinds up the corks they receive and uses them to make 100% recycled cork footbeds for shoes, yoga blocks, and even a grip pad for surf boards. The possibilities are almost endless with everything from handbags to massage rollers and even flooring made of cork.
Of course, just because it’s renewable doesn’t mean we should waste it so be sure to recycle your corks. Corks are not recyclable in your typical recycling program so companies like ReCork rely on collections partners like restaurants, wine shops and, of course, SCARCE. You can feel good about recycling your corks with SCARCE and ReCork: every shipment of cork is carbon neutral and ReCork as a whole is a carbon negative company.
Drink Responsibly – Recycle Your Corks
Cork recycling adds a new dimension to drinking responsibly! Do your part and collect your corks for recycling at SCARCE or find another collection partner near you.