As a raw material, cork has many unrivalled features. It is simultaneously fully biodegradable, renewable, recyclable, reusable and able to circulate continuously in the economy. Although recycled cork can no-longer be incorporated into cork stoppers, it can be integrated into numerous products. Based on this principle, the Greencork project – the national programme for the selective collection of stoppers for recycling – was launched in Portugal in partnership with the non-governmental organization Quercus and others.
The project aims to promote new recycling practices, increase the CO2 retention period associated with cork stoppers, and raise public awareness of the environmental advantages of cork products as a support to the cork oak ecosystem. Greencork also includes the financing of a project to plant Portuguese native trees, notably the cork oak, and already contributes to the planting of thousands of trees in various parts of the country.
The promotion of cork recycling projects has been carried out at international level for some time, through the following projects involving Corticeira Amorim:
This is North America’s largest cork stopper collection programme, boosted by the involvement of the Canadian footwear company SOLE, which incorporates recycled cork in the production of shoe soles;
This programme has collected millions of cork stoppers thereby contributing to the donation of funds to various causes such as cancer research and social support projects;
This project has been developed in collaboration with several associations, and manages more than 5,000 cork stopper collection points, enabling donations to their social support projects.
This project aims to collect used or surplus cork stoppers to give them new life, while creating employment.
These projects are significant examples of the promotion of the principles of a circular economy by Corticeira Amorim, to have a strong social impact. Since the beginning of the projects, more than 550 million cork stoppers have been collected for recycling and over 1.5 M € donated for social causes and reforestation.