World’s first cork with no carbon footprint

The perpetual ‘cork versus screw-top’ debate just got more complicated as the world’s first carbon neutral cork is introduced.

The Select Bio cork is fully recyclable and looks like a traditional cork. It is not, however, made from the stripped bark of a cork tree. The cork is instead made using renewable, plant-based biopolymers derived from sugar cane.

As they say on their website, “Select Bio uses Nomacorc’s propriety Plantcorc technology to provide a sustainable closure with superior performance and consistent oxygen control while minimizing environmental impact by preventing spoilage and waste from wine fault”.

According to The Independent, the US-based manufacturer, Nomacorc, already accounts for a 20 per cent share of the wine-closure market across the globe, selling other cork-alternatives worldwide.

Waitrose will be the first retailer in the UK to stock wines with such a closure, with The Cubist Pablo Old Vine 2013. This new cork-closure will be available from this weekend.

Not everyone is over the moon with this new wine-closure, as WWF have claimed that the production of Spanish and Portuguese corks is crucial for preserving Iberia’s bio-diverse forests, and providing homes to endangered animals like the Iberian lynx and the Barbary deer. WWF has continually worked to publicise the environmental and economic value of cork stoppers, and a decrease in demand for traditional corks would be detrimental to the natural heritage of Spain and Portugal’s cork oak forests.

Alex Gilbert-Petz, head sommelier at Michelin-starred restaurant Pétrus expressed his own concerns to The Independent: “The carbon-neutral cork is a fantastic way to draw attention to global environmental issues but, as many people order wine chosen for quality and taste, I think people will continue to do this whether they have carbon-neutral corks or not – or at least until more wines are available with the new closure”.

 Concerned about your carbon footprint?
Recycle those corks - here are nine ways to do it

Written by: Lucy Prosser

Lucy Prosser 


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