It just got easier for Oregon and Washington state wine consumers to recycle cork from their bottles.
WVV Founder and President Jim Bernau said the new program is needed to sustain the cork forests of Portugal, Spain, and other cork producing countries. Part of the program’s goal is to raise awareness of the sustainability of the Mediterranean cork forests.
“The cork forests are second only to the Amazon Rainforest in their importance to the world’s biosphere,” he noted. Additionally, “high quality natural cork is the best way to preserve wine quality.”
Erez Klein, Regional Purchasing Specialist at Whole Foods Market Pacific Northwest Region, said its consumers have been asking for a cork recycling program.
“We are thrilled to extend services to our shoppers that benefit the community,” Klein said. “Providing the lowest possible carbon footprint in cork recycling is something we are proud to offer. This program is consistent with the core values of our company.”
Chris Gibbons, of the Rainforest Alliance, noted the wine industry plays a critical role in protecting cork oak forests on the Iberian Peninsula.
“The Rainforest Alliance applauds Willamette Valley Vineyards for being a sustainability leader in the Pacific Northwest,” Gibbons said. “Not only are they sourcing their cork from FSC-certified cork forests, but they’re taking the next step and establishing a cork recycling program to help mitigate the use of virgin cork.”