Putting a cork in it (Day 64)…


I’ve never been the type to collect my used wine corks for the purpose of some hideous arts and crafts project like this, this or, even more ambitious, this. Fortunately, the local Girl Guides have set up the Bag-a-Cork program (because you know those heavyweight drinkers aren’t just washing their cookies down with milk), which sorts and delivers them back to the LEED-certified Jelinek Cork Group to be recycled into everything from duck decoys to gift bags and even something called, intriguingly, an “anti-fatigue mat.”

The website points out that an estimated 100 million corks will be discarded in Ontario this year — so far, the program has diverted over one million of them, or about five tonnes. It also has a handy list of which restaurants, bars and liquor stores have drop-off bins, as well as the requisite fact page featuring “A Short History of Cork.”

What I’m wondering, though, is what to do with the rubber wine corks? Should I be trying to avoid the bottles that have these, or are they more eco-friendly? Perhaps I should avoid buying either and go for the screw-top, seeing as I’ve already made the sacrifices of switching to Ontario plonk and reusing the same glass. Or, maybe I should just give up wine altogether and be a grumpy teetotaler for the rest of the year.

Photo courtesy of LaMadrilenya on Flickr

10 Responses to Putting a cork in it (Day 64)…

  1. Alina says:

    50% of the worlds cork!!! Wohoo! Go Portugal!!! I say stick to natural cork, cork harvesting is very sustainable. Cork trees are a very important part of portuguese ecosystems, and the local economy, so I say support the portuguese cork farmers 😀 Besides, a whine with a rubber cork is probably an undrinkable plonk anyway… :p

  2. Alina says:

    and by whine i mean wine… doh

  3. Lori V. says:

    Hey! I have a cork wreath (much less… ummm… cutesy(?) than your example, though)! I really dig mine.

  4. Morgan says:

    Dude…stick to natural cork where you can, but you’re most likely going to see even high end wineries switch to the rubber corks in the not to distant future…to the wineries there are benefits when it comes to preserving the flavor and quality of their wine…to the planet comes the side effect of preserving these corks in our landfills…


  5. pat farquharson says:

    whatever happens, dont quit the wine because I dont want to hear the whine!!
    The nectar of the Gods doesnt mind what top it’s wearing.

  6. Autumn says:

    Can’t you use corks as fire starters too?

    You just keep them in a jar of something (alcohol maybe?) and then when you need to start a fire, just light one of those and toss it in. Might be more environmental than lighter fluid or something.

  7. Autumn says:

    And Girl Guides/Scouts are awesome.

  8. Mike LaBossiere says:

    When I was kid, we did all these silly science “experiments” with corks (like the classic “make a water compass with a cork, a magnet, a needle and a bowl of water”). So, we just need to get all those cork experiments into the school curriculum and ship the corks to schools. Or we could feed them to goats. Goats eat anything, right?

  9. Hey that’s great! I didn’t know anyone was doing cork recycling, but it makes sense. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s too widespread. I guess if you don’t mind spending the money and petrol on mailing the things in, you can send them in for recycling (read about it here): http://corkdork.typepad.com/corkdork/2006/10/wine_cork_recyc.html

    or more directly here: http://www.yemmhart.com/news+/winecorkrecycling.htm

  10. Nancy says:

    Since the Bag-a-Cork program was stopped in June, 2008, does anyone know of anywhere else to recycle corks?

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