I think that pretty much everyone knows that you can recycle the glass from your wine bottles, but few people realize that the cork from your bottle can also be recycled! There are dozens of well known locations to drop off your glass bottles in any city in the country and most towns with a recycling program will accept glass as well. But try to recycle that cork and you may have to dig a little harder.
Unlike screw top caps and plastic bottle stoppers, natural cork is a very easily recycled material. While recycled cork is not used to make new wine corks, there are many other products that your old wine cork can be recycled to make. On top of that, cork is a 100% biodegradeable material as well as being one of the most responsibly and sustainably harvested forest products available.
Fortunately, cork recycling is becoming more common in many parts of the US and Canada as well as the rest of the world. Cork ReHarvest is a relatively new non-profit organization that was formed in 2008 to educate, encourage, and facilitate the recycling of cork products. In doing so, they aim to both preserve the incredible biodiversity of the world’s cork forests as well as reduce the waste created by the nearly 13 billion natural corks that are produced each year.
By requesting wine that is closed with natural cork and by recycling the cork you use, you encourage wineries to utilize more eco-friendly materials and can have a big impact on the environment as well. To find a cork recycling drop box in your area, you can visit Cork ReHarvest’s website at http://corkreharvest.org/finder.php.