Quick Cork Fact
Cork is a 100% natural, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable material that is obtained through an environmentally friendly harvesting process.
Trees are not cut down to harvest cork, rather, the bark is stripped by hand every 9-12 years. Cork oak trees can live up to 300 years!
Approximately 6.6 million acres of Mediterranean cork forest extend across Portugal, Spain, Algeria, Morocco, Italy, Tunisia and France. These oak forests support one of the world's highest levels of forest biodiversity, second only to the Amazonian Rainforest.
Opting for screw caps and plastic stoppers directly causes the loss of sustainable livelihoods as the cork forests are a vital source of income for thousands of families.
There is enough cork in the cork forests of Portugal and Spain to last more than 100 years. The introduction of new products, such as composite corks, allows even better utilization of existing cork resources, using granulated cork that can be obtained from smaller pieces of raw cork otherwise unusable in the production of conventional punched cork.
The Cork Forest Conservation Alliance campaigns globally for the protection and preservation of the Mediterranean cork forests, its inhabitants and biodiversity, through education, direct action, and partnerships with communities, businesses and governments.
We believe that teaching and promoting sustainability is the best way to systematically approach and solve the many complex environmental challenges facing society today.
Founded in 2008, Cork ReHarvest has led the cork recycling movement in the US and Canada, helping to collect and recycle some of the 13 billion natural corks that are produced each year. Equally important is its work to educate the public about the Mediterranean cork forests. Due to the scope of our organizationís expanding efforts focused on cork forest conservation, we have recently changed our name from Cork ReHarvest to the Cork Forest Conservation Alliance (CFCA). We will continue to use Cork ReHarvest as the name of our global cork recycling program.
These forests contain one of the world's highest levels of forest biodiversity, including endemic plants and endangered species such as the Iberian Lynx, the Iberian Imperial Eagle and the Barbary Deer. They are also a vital source of income for thousands of family farmers, who for generations have worked these forests. It is our calling and our passion to protect the Mediterranean cork forests, not as a relic of the past, but as an integral part of our planet's biosphere.
To meet our goals, we work with businesses, communities, colleges and government agencies to help support our efforts to save this remarkable natural resource.
What We Do
- We speak for the cork forests, the people, plants and animals that inhabit them and who depend on those forests for their survival.
- Our education efforts focus on the ecological importance of the Mediterranean cork forests, sustainable harvesting practices and the priceless co-evolutionary relationship between people and nature.
- Cork ReHarvest is a viable collection and recycling program. We work with our partners to collect the corks before they reach the landfills. However, collecting the cork is not enough. Doing so without increasing its carbon footprint is our major goal.
- This program also helps to educate the public about the negative environmental impact that screw caps and plastic closures have to our planet.
- We work with new businesses that recycle cork to develop carbon neutral processes for manufacturing and shipping of the up-cycled cork.
- The "Real Cork Inside" TM certification program was developed to help wineries let consumers know that they have committed to using natural cork to close their wines.