How to recycle wine bottle corks

Written by daisy cuinn
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How to recycle wine bottle corks
Wine corks can be recycled, but you need to know what to do. (wine cork image by Alison Bowden from

While natural cork has long been the primary material used to make wine stoppers, synthetic stoppers, screw tops and alternative wine packaging have grown in popularity. The reasons for the shift have been partly environmental, with less cork harvested around the world. ReCork by Amorim, however, encourages the use and recycling of natural cork to keep the cork forests of the Mediterranean viable. Recycled cork can be made into shoes, flooring, insulation, sports equipment and automotive gaskets, among other items. Wine corks for recycling are not collected locally in many areas, but anyone can recycle cork regardless of locale by participating in a cork recycling by mail program.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Used wine corks
  • Container
  • Mailing supplies

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  1. 1

    Place a box or container in the area where the home recycling bins are kept. Reserve this container for wine corks alone.

  2. 2

    Rinse and throw all used wine corks into the designated bin whenever you've finished a bottle of wine.

  3. 3

    Package corks for recycling when you have collected enough to turn fill a large envelope or a shipping box. Do not overfill, as it may cause the envelope or box to split. Cork recyclers prefer or require more than a couple of corks to be sent at a time to reduce the amount of transit resources used.

  4. 4

    Ship corks to a cork recycler; corks are accepted by mail by Yemm & Hart and ReCork:

    Wine Cork Recycling Yemm & Hart Ltd 425 North Chamber Dr Fredericktown MO 63645

    ReCork accepts mailed corks with a minimum of 6.8 Kilogram. Contact for a prepaid shipping label.

Tips and warnings

  • Some cities have drop-off locations for cork recycling via programs such as Rewind Your Wine in St. Lois and some Whole Foods stores nationwide.

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