The Cork Oak (quercus suber) produces cork from its bark – a renewable, sustainable and ecologically friendly material. You might already know that cork is in danger of being replaced by man-made stoppers, so to raise awareness we would like to draw attention to some of the benefits of this amazing all-natural material.
Harvesting cork assists in the absorption of Carbon Dioxide and harvested tress absorb three to five times more CO2 than those left un-harvested. Cork trees in Portugal alone help offset more than 10 million tons of carbon a year.
Harvested, not destroyed
Corks are made from the bark of a cork oak tree and this bark is harvested, leaving the tree unharmed. The stripping process takes place every nine to 11 years, after which the bark regenerates, absorbing more CO2 over this time. Cork trees typically live for 100-300 years.
Protecting a valuable ecosystem
Cork forests are amongst the top biodiversity hotspots in Europe. They are home to over 130 plant species and more than 40 bird species, as well as many endangered animal species such as the elusive Iberian Lynx. A managed cork forest provides a unique habitat for these animals and the thick bark of the trees themselves protects this dry environment from devastating forest fires.
Biodegradable and Recyclable
As cork is natural, it is completely biodegradable and easily recyclable, leaving no toxic residues.
Cork is a vital source of rural employment in much of the Mediterranean and southern Europe and guarantees the survival of local communities.
What Can I Do?
Support Cork! And all it takes is a simple step: insist on buying wine that has a cork stopper!
Want to know more?
Please follow the following links for more information:
www.savemiguel.com – a light-hearted ”Hollywood” campaign and short video, delivering all the facts.
Download A World Wildlife Fund in-depth article on cork forestry and its impact on the environment.