Friday, December 2, 2022

How To Recycle Wine Corks

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4 DIY Ways to Reuse Wine Corks

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Why Is Recycling Important In General

Recycling reduces and can even eliminate the need to extract raw materials, saving limited natural resources.

It’s not just the planet that benefits from our efforts, as business and people profit too. The process of recycling and composting creates more jobs than incineration and landfill, with 9.2 jobs in recycling for every 2.8 jobs in landfill.

Are All Cork Products Recyclable

Its important to note that the above programs mostly accept wine corks because these can be separated from other materials.

For example, you can separate the cork from the glass bottle and recycle the bottle separately.

Other products where cork is used often have the cork attached to other materials. Examples include:

  • cork boards
  • fishing products
  • sandals

It can be hard to separate the cork from other materials such as plastic or wood.

Even if the other materials are recyclable as well, separating different recyclable materials is essential in order for them to be recycled properly

If the recycling facility has to do it, it makes recycling less efficient. The products will usually end up just getting thrown away.

Thats why many cork recycling programs only accept wine corks and not other products that contain cork.

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Choose Wines With Natural Cork

The first step in recycling wine corks is choosing bottles of wine with natural cork stoppers. Not only does this allow you to recycle the cork afterwards, but buying natural cork products supports sustainable cork harvesting practices and cork tree conservation so we can enjoy cork for generations to come.Easily find your next bottle using CORKwatch, a database of wines and vineyards that bottle with natural corks.

Is It Real Cork Or Plastic

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Before you do anything with those corks, the first thing you need to determine is whether they are real cork or synthetic/artificial cork . Its pretty easy to tell by feel and appearance. A plastic cork feels smooth and kind of plastic-y and rubbery. The artificial cork also tends to look a little shiny, whereas the real cork does not. Here is a typical plastic cork next to a real one:

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Use Recycled Cork Create Change

At ReCORK, we believe that companies have a social responsibility to make the best choices possible when sourcing materials. To reduce the environmental footprint of your product creation, a great option is to use recycled materials whenever possible.

By becoming a ReCORK Re-Use Partner, you can purchase our recycled cork to use as an important ingredient in your new product creation. Using recycled cork in your products extends the life of a natural sustainable material, keeps it from the waste stream, and supports the conservation of cork oak forests.

Does Cork End Up In Landfills

Millions of individual corks end up in landfills every year.

This is because a lot of people just throw it away because they arent sure how else to dispose of it.

They dont realize that cork by itself can be recycled.

Even if they do, they arent sure how to go about recycling it since most residential recycling programs dont accept cork.

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Are You A Partner

It looks like you’re ordering 10 or more of a product. Have you considered becoming a ReCORK partner and placing bulk orders? Please contact Customer service for more information or fill in the Retailer Partner form now. If you’re already a ReCORK partner, please place your order through your Partner Account.

Are Wine Corks Recyclable

How to Recycle Corks

Certainly, wine corks are recyclable, primarily because they are durable and come from a naturally occurring plant, the cork tree. Some companies collect natural wine corks and then turn them into anything from shoes and bags to flooring.

The two biggest companies, ReCork and Cork Forest Conservation Alliance, have drop-off locations all over the United States and mailing your corks to them is available free of charge to CorkClub.

For the crafty of you out there, there are all kinds of projects you can make with used wine corks, including wreaths, trivets and corkboards. If you would like to simply display them, there are myriad options, from accent tables to decorative wall displays. Cork can also be used to make do-it-yourself lampshades, bath mats, flip-flops and even recycled home appliances.

ReCork is the largest cork recycler in North America. They take natural corks and turn them into shoes, yoga blocks, and more. With the help of thousands of partners across North America, ReCork has collected and recycled over 110 million natural wine corks.

TerraCycle is another recycling company within the States, who accepts both natural and plastic versions of cork, turning them into products, and rewarding those who bring their corks for recycling.

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We Grind Down All Our Cork Together

We grind down all the wine corks, and left over cork trimmings so we can turn them into a raw material that’s perfect for replacing environmentally harmful petroleum-based foams and plastics in consumer products. ReCORK Recycled Cork is as flexible, durable, cushioning and light as synthetic foams. This means your cork could end up in a pair of high-performance footwear, or a pair of SOLE footbeds.

How Corks Are Recycled:

Organizations like Re-Cork are tackling the issue of cork waste by bridging the gap between consumers and companies who use cork materials in the manufacturing of their products. Wine corks can be reused in a variety of products, from flooring to insulation to furniture and even shoes! Innovative companies are inventing new ways to incorporate cork into their products such as a 100% recycled cork yoga mat and traction pad.

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Can You Recycle Plastic Corks

Yes, you can recycle plastic corks. However, because it can be difficult to know exactly what type of plastic synthetic corks are made from, coupled with their small size, most areas dont accept them for curbside recycling.

Youll either need to find a recycling center that takes plastic corks, or pay for a mail-in program like Terracycle.

How Do You Recycle Synthetic Corks

8 Ideas for Recycling or Reusing Wine Corks

You said Finally, synthetic corks are recyclable. Question is how do I recycle corks? Do they go in with recyclables like plastic bottles?SalState: NJHello Sal,Synthetic corks are not marked with a recyling number, but they are made of #7 plastic. Any recycling center that takes this plastic should be able to handle them just fine. If you are having trouble finding a location, go to Type in #7 Plastic Bottle and your zipcode to find a location near you.Happy Winemaking,Ed KrausEd Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

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How To Recycle Plastic Corks

Despite being a sustainable material, like most natural resources, natural cork is limited to the amount of cork trees that can be grown. This makes natural cork pretty expensive, and so these days they are typically only used in top-shelf wine bottles.

Instead, most wineries use more affordable and abundant plastic corks instead.

Youve probably seen synthetic corks with 100% recyclable written on the side. However, this doesnt mean that you can put them with your curbside recycling.

It can actually be difficult to recycle corks made from plastic. Curbside recycling programs wont typically accept these because it can be hard to tell what type of plastic theyre made from. Corks are also problematic for co-mingled recycling bins because their small size makes them tricky to separate out from other recyclables.

So, its worth checking with your local sanitation department if theyll accept synthetic corks curbside, but dont be surprised if they say no. If they do, check out Earth911s online finder tool to see if theres a recycling center near you that accepts corks.

You can also recycle corks made of plastic through mail-in programs like Terracycle. Youll need to purchase a cork zero waste box at a cost, fill it with as many corks as you can, and then ship it back to Terracycle.

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So What Else Can You Do With Corks

Corks can be composted or turned into garden mulch. For both of these options make sure you shred the cork first to make it easier to break down.

Corks can also be reused for craft or DIY purposes. Here’s a few of our favourite DIY projects involving corks:

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Are Wine Corks Biodegradable

Recycle your wine corks and make fun crafts

Definitely. Cork is a 100% natural biodegradable and renewable resource. Cork trees are an environmentally sustainable resource and layers of the tree bark are stripped off, without harming the tree and turned into various products, most often wine corks.

Not a single tree, each of which can live up to 300 years, is cut down during cork extraction. Instead, the bark is harvested by hand every nine to 12 years, explaining why a single cork tree can see its bark safely harvested 16 times in its lifetime. Cork biodegrades completely and can be easily recycled without producing any toxic residues.

However, be careful about synthetic corks, made and painted to resemble the natural cork or those with plastic screw caps as they are non-recyclable. Additionally, they can cause harm to your compost and potentially not fully biodegrade

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Put A Cork In It: How To Recycle Wine Corks For Cash

Put a Cork In It: How to Recycle Wine…

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This article may contain tips that are no longer active, but check out these helpful resources for more tips!

Wine corks seem to be popping up everywhere lately. Theyre in high-end gift shops and boutiques, along with craft fairs. And they arent in bottles. Rather, corks are enjoying a rebirth in the form of bulletin boards, hot pads and even business card holders.

It makes me wonder where artists and crafters find all of these wine corks. Surely they dont drink all of that wine themselves

The more likely source is Ebay, where crafters and artists buy wine corks by the dozens for all of their projects.

Ways To Reuse Wine Corks25

With most of our wine consumption happening at home these days, here are some great ideas for putting those wine corks to some good use!

If you’ve suddenly got an abundance of corks and you don’t want them all to end up in a landfill, don’t worry! We’ve got 8 great ways to upcycle these little guys!

#1: Make a trivet. Use a picture frame or a large ceramic tile as a base, and hot-glue the corks to the base. You can cut each cork in half lengthwise so that you wont need as many. Don likes to arrange the corks in pairs, alternating vertical and horizontal, to make a nice pattern. There are plenty of ideas and instructions online.

#2: Protect yourself from sharp tips. Poke sharp utensils, such as probe thermometers, corn holders, skewers, carving forks and other kitchen tools into corks. Itll prevent you from pricking your finger when youre rummaging around in a drawer for something. In the craft room, corks can be used to collect needles or pins, or for craft blades.

#3: Create a toy regatta for your kids. For a fun family craft project, glue three corks together to make a boat, and top it with a paper sail hung from a short wooden skewer or cocktail pick. Float it in the tub or in a creek.

#4: Protect your floors. Cut slices of cork and glue them to the underside of chair feet, big ceramic floor planters or tables. Theyll protect the floor if you need to push the furniture to move it. A thin sliver of cork can also help even out a wobbly table.

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How To Recycle Corks: A Step

Heres a summary of how to recycle corks, step by step:

1. Work out whether each cork is natural or synthetic. You can usually do this from the look and feel of the cork. Heres what to look for:

  • Natural corks have an uneven, woody appearance with a spongy texture
  • Synthetic corks are typically smooth and rubbery in texture, with a somewhat shiny finish

2. Separate your corks into natural and synthetic.

3. For natural corks: check if you have a drop-off both in your area through RECORK, the Cork Forest Conservation Alliance, Cork Club, or your local Whole Foods Market. Take your old corks in and simply drop them in the box!

4. For synthetic corks: contact your local municipality and check whether they take plastic corks for recycling, and if so, how do they pick them up curbside or will you need to drop them off somewhere?

5. Otherwise, check Earth911s locator tool to see if theres a recycling facility in your area where you can recycle corks, or use a mail-in program like Terracycle to recycle your synthetic corks.

What’s The Best Way To Dispose Of Used Wine Corks

Premium Recycled Corks, Natural Wine Corks From Around the World

Hello there! I’m Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don’t worry, I’m no wine snobyou can also ask me those “dumb questions” you’re too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don’t forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q& A classics.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

What’s the best way to dispose of used wine corks?

John, Sammamish, Wash.

Dear John,

Check with your local recycling laws, but most synthetic corks and screwcaps can go into your recycling bin. Natural corks are biodegradable and can be safely tossed in the trash or a compost bin if you’re so inclined. There are also some companies that collect natural corks and recycle them into other goods. There are some companies that operate drop-off locations for cork recycling, including Cork Forest Conservation Alliance and ReCork. And Cork Club has a system where you can mail your corks in, but you need a minimum of 500 corks or 5 pounds’ worth.

Dr. Vinny

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Where Can I Take My Corks To Be Recycled

Hello there! I’m Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don’t worry, I’m no wine snobyou can also ask me those “dumb questions” you’re too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don’t forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q& A classics.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

I know that wine corks are recyclable, but how do I recycle them? They probably don’t get recycled properly if I just chuck them in the recycling bin with the paper, glass and plastic, right?

Lexi, New York

Dear Lexi,

Synthetic corks and screwcaps can go straight into the recycling bin. For natural cork, youll need to recycle them elsewhere. Or you can do what I do and put your natural corks in your compost bin.

There are companies that collect natural wine corks and then turn them into anything from shoes and bags to flooring. The two biggest companies, ReCork and Cork Forest Conservation Alliance, have drop-off locations, searchable online by zip code. If you dont live anywhere near a drop-off site, you can mail your corks to CorkClub.

If youre a crafty person, there are all kinds of projects you can make with used wine corks, including wreaths, trivets and corkboards. If youd like to simply display them, there are myriad options, from accent tables to decorative wall displays.

Dr. Vinny

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