In South Africa, more than 40 million natural corks are popped every year. You might be wondering what the aftermath of those used corks is? Are corks recyclable? Are corks biodegradable? And what can you do with old corks?
Even though recycled wine corks can never be used as wine stoppers again, the life cycle and environmental benefits of this eco-friendly material can be prolonged. After recycling, natural corks can undergo through a simple chemical free and low energy grinding process, and have a second life as flooring, surf boards, shoe soles, design parts, or where creativity can go. What’s best, it can replace previously used environmentally harmful products like rubber or plastics.
If you’d like to be part of our network of cork recycling and help create change, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Amorim – the world’s largest cork producer – has played a leading role in promoting recycling and upcycling of used cork. In the early 2010’s, we looked at developing a recycling project in South Africa with economic and social character, with a view to foster education and environmental awareness.
The dream came together as CorkLife in 2013, as Amorim’s employees cork recycling initiative. Under a broad-based trust for its employees that qualify as beneficiaries, it promotes a new recycling practice in South Africa entailing the recycling of used cork stoppers from our partners and upcycling in amazing concepts.
Frequently asked questions
More than 40 million corks are popped each year in South Africa. While cork is a 100% natural, renewable, and bio-degradable natural material, waste can be converted into a range of functional products. Even though those corks can never be used again as wine stoppers, the life cycle and environment benefits of this eco-friendly material can be prolonged. After recycling, corks undergo a simple chemical-free and low-energy grinding process, allowing it be used as outdoor and indoor flooring, to footwear or homeware products.
Our network includes places that can collect substantial amounts of corks such as wineries, restaurants, liquor stores, hotels, bars, grocery stores and more. We are currently collecting corks on a 50kms radius from Stellenbosch (our location), but we hope to expand our network of partners to other densely populated areas in South Africa.
Great news! Thank you for willing to make a difference in reducing waste and improve the cork’s circular economy. Please read through the FAQ and contact us on email@example.com
We have daily deliveries in the Winelands area. We will account for the collection when one of our delivery vehicles is in your area.
There is no cost to become a recycling partner.
We do not buy corks. We offer a service to companies and individuals who would like to recycle their corks to minimize their impact on the planet
Preferably in recyclable cardboard boxes. If you become a recycling partner, Amorim will provide you with a recycling box.
We are happy to receive corks directly from individuals, however, should be done in parcels of at least 20 kgs for environmentally efficient shipments.
When you reach for a bottle, look for those with real corks. Buying bottles with natural cork promotes cork harvesting, which extends the lifespan of cork trees and supports the conservation over 6.7 million acres of ecologically sensitive cork forests. Cork is a net carbon retainer, unlike artificial closures which are made of plastic or aluminium.
The answer is no. This is a common myth. The single greatest threat to the cork forests is a reduction in global demand. Support the cork forest by choosing cork products whenever possible.
HOW IT WORKS?
Infographic 1 – wine corks are natural closures and produced from the bark of cork trees.
Infographic 2 – Drink and save your corks.
Infographic 3 – Once you have a bag full of corks, take it to the closest CorkLife cork recycling point.
Infographic 4 – Amorim has regular collection of recycled corks from recycling points (truck collecting
box of recycled corks?).
Infographic 5 – Grinding (wine corks being grinded).
Infographic 6 – corks being molded into shoe soles ; flooring ; wine boxes
Become a part of our network of partners in South Africa and help create true change. We have 2
types of partnerships:
- Public Collection Partners: collect corks, including from members of the public, and receive
recognition as partner and will be listed on the recycling locations finder. Our network
includes wineries, liquor stores, bars, hotels, office spaces, grocery stores, and more.
You will be featured on our list of partners and on Find a Location map and welcome cork
drop offs from members of the public.
- Private collection partners: collect cork, but not from the public. You will receive recognition
as partner, but your information will not be listed on the recycling locations finder. Instead,
you send us the corks you’ve used as a part of doing business, that you collect in the back
end of your business environment. Our network includes events, wineries, liquor stores,
bars, hotels, office spaces, grocery stores, and more.
You will be featured on our list of partners, but your location will not be shared with the public
Thank you for your interest in joining the cork recycling movement. Please read through the FAQ and
submit your application.