Whole Foods to expand their cork recycling program nationwide

(Last Updated On: 04/08/2010)

Cork TreeFor obvious reasons, I find myself buried in a mass of corks every month (well, week). I end up making Christmas tree ornaments with them or, most frequently, add them to landfills. But things are looking up:  Whole Foods Market has recently launched a recycling program for natural corks in all of their stores.  A recent article in Sustainable Business Oregon:

“Whole Foods Markets announced Tuesday that it will expand an Oregon wine cork-recycling pilot program to all of its 292 locations in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Whole Foods is working with the Salem-based nonprofit Cork ReHarvest to collect wine corks and recycle them. Cork ReHarvest spun out of Willamette Valley Vineyards in 2008.

Starting this month, Whole Foods stores will collect corks from customers for the program. Cork ReHarvest has established partnerships with recyclers across the country to take the cork and reuse it.

West Coast corks will be sent to Western Pulp in Corvallis where they will be used in recyclable wine-shipping containers. In the Midwest, the corks go to Yemm & Hart, maker of cork floor tiles. East Coast and UK corks will go to Jelinek Cork Group to be used in a variety of products.

Why recycle cork? Patrick Spencer, Cork ReHarvest’s director and sole employee said there are many misconceptions about cork…”  Read More

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