If the cork industry is killed off, it’s likely companies will tear down the cork forests (home to native wildlife in Spain and Portugal), so keeping the cork industry thriving benefits all creatures. Look for bottles with real corks (not ‘resin’ that looks like corn). Although natural, corks are too tightly packed to break down, so recycle them (corks are choking hazards for pets/children). If you can’t find corked wine (or find it difficult to open the bottles), look for metal screw-caps (most councils accept tops in recycling waste bags).
Willow Earth Cork Backpack is an ideal leather-free alternative to conventional backpacks. The backpacks are ethically made in Sussex, with offcuts being used to make cork purses like above (top image).
Cork Yogis make a wide range of luxury cork yoga mats and accessories. Unlike PVC, these are kind to the earth and the grip gets better, the more you sweat! At end of use, they naturally biodegrade. The company uses profits to help women in India escape the sex slave industry.
How & Why to Recycle Cork
Cork is too tightly packed to break down in compost bins, so if you have corks, then it’s good to recycle them at local points, if you have any. You can send them in bulk to Recorked UK, where they are made into other items (a good idea for a local pub or shop perhaps to set up a recycling point).