Consumers who enjoy a glass of wine this patio season can feel even better knowing every part of the bottle will be recycled. Starting today, thanks to a new partnership, used natural wine corks collected at the Return-It Boucherie Self Storage and Bottle Depot in Kelowna will be recycled into eco-friendly footwear.
The new initiative is a strategic partnership between Return-It, an industry owned, not-for-profit, product stewardship agency with beverage container management as its core mandate; ReCORK, North America's largest natural wine cork recycling program; and SOLE, a manufacturer of sustainable footwear that turns used wine corks into an ecologically-friendly replacement for fossil fuel-derived foams.
The power of cork
Sustainably harvested from trees, cork is a carbon-negative material that can be repurposed into new consumer items like footwear cushioning to help replace petroleum-based foams and plastics. As an important climate benefit, cork oak forests continue absorbing CO2 after the bark is removed.
- For each tonne of cork harvested, the forest absorbs 70 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere.1
- Harvesting the bark boosts the cork oak tree’s carbon consumption three to five times, and can extend the tree’s lifespan to over 300 years.2
- Each pair of recycled cork footbeds, shoes and sandals contains between 22 and 60 wine corks.3 In addition to being environmentally friendly, cork footwear cushioning is naturally elastic, moisture-wicking, odour-reducing, foot-molding and supportive.
How does it work?
Recycling your natural wine corks helps replace environmentally harmful, petroleum-based materials in consumer products with a natural, sustainable alternative.
Once consumers have dropped off their used, natural wine corks at the collection facility, the material will be sent to ReCORK for processing, then used by SOLE to manufacture eco-friendly alternatives to environmentally harmful materials for shoes and sandals.
Not Accepted Corks
- Why do you accept only some cork types?
- What are you doing with the corks collected?
The material will be sent to ReCORK for processing, then used by SOLE to manufacture eco-friendly alternatives to environmentally-harmful materials for shoes and sandals.
- How long is this pilot going to last?
- Are you planning to expand this pilot to other locations?