Since beginning the 30-Day Minimalism Game, I have been continually confronted with things that I don’t know how to recycle. Of course, first I ask myself if I can reuse the item or give it away to a person or charity, and if the answer to both of those questions is “no,” then I ask myself, “can this be recycled?” Then follows an oftentimes lengthy research project via google to find the best, most appropriate [and, honestly, most convenient] way to recycle the object.
Or in this case – the entire coffee tin full of objects.
These wine corks are just another reminder to me of how little I paid attention to the waste I have been creating. Besides the ones I’ve been hoarding in this tin [for some crafty DIY project, no doubt], I have thrown many corks in the trash without even thinking about them.
Turns out that real corks can be recycled by taking them to a collection site [visit RECORK for the location nearest you] where they are gathered and made into items like cork bobbers and cork boards and cork blocks for yoga and cork shoe soles, etc. All fabulous.
Synthetic corks are apparently made out of #7 plastic [which is the “catchall” category of plastics] and can go to whatever recycling facilities take these types of plastic; BUT, #7 plastics should really be avoided anyway.
[CorkClub will apparently send you a free shipping label to send all of your corks – real and synthetic – to them and they will reuse the cork and recycle the plastic. AND they donate $.02 per cork received to organizations that support ocean and forest conservation. Sounds great, but I haven’t done this myself.]
So, I’ll be buying my wine with the real deal corks from now on and recycling them. Unfortunately, corks can’t be reused for wine because of contamination or something like that. So, this is the best I can do – besides not buy wine at all. But that definitely isn’t going to happen any time soon.
For realz…this mama needs her wine.
PLUS, fun little fact about cork:
Not a single tree, each of which can live up to 300 years, is cut down during cork extraction. Instead, bark is harvested by hand every nine to 12 years. (Read more at Earth911.com)
Cork seems like a great sustainable source for a lot of products – and recycling the stuff makes it even better!
Happy sipping! 🍷