"Choosing cork over petroleum-based or metal wine stoppers is one of the many small but helpful decisions that consumers can make every day to improve the health of our planet," said Allen Hershkowitz, Ph.D., a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "I applaud the GRAMMYsr and other high-profile events that have embraced sustainability programs to protect biodiversity and reduce their carbon footprints."
Wines sealed with cork were served at the MusiCaresr Person of The Year fundraiser honoring Barbra Streisand on February 11 and at the official GRAMMY Celebrationr on February 13, 2011.
Both the MusiCares fundraiser and the GRAMMY Celebration were equipped with recycling bins provided by ReCORK, the natural wine cork recycling program that collected the stoppers and is providing them to SOLE, who is manufacturing a line of products from the recycled cork.
Natural cork is one of the world's most sustainable products. Biodegradable and recyclable, its use provides an economic incentive to preserve vast cork oak forests in the Mediterranean Basin that trap greenhouse gases, prevent desertification and provide habitat for hundreds of plant and animal species.
There is no shortage of cork, and cork oaks are not cut down to make cork. A portion of their bark is removed every nine years during a 150-year lifespan.
Based in North Vancouver, British Columbia, SOLE is known for its line of supportive, do-it-yourself, heat moldable custom footbeds, socks and footwear. In 2009, SOLE partnered with ReCORK to make products with natural, sustainable cork, and reduce the amount of petroleum products that would normally be used.
ReCORK by Amorim is a natural wine cork recycling program. ReCORK's goal is to recycle corks and to educate and inform audiences about the crucial role cork forests play in curbing climate change. ReCORK has collected 14.6 million corks and, in partnership with SOLE, has sponsored the planting of nearly 4,500 cork oak trees.