Yes To Cork — Save Forests, Jobs and the Iberian Lynx
We've covered the natural vs synthetic cork dilemma before. Now the WWF have released a report saying that up to 75% of the cork forests in the Mediterranean might be lost within the next 10 years — all because of screw-top wine. They go on to suggest that by 2015 there might only be 5% of wine bottles using cork. Apparently without protection of the cork forests (cork is harvested from the bark of a special oak tree roughly every 9 years and then allowed to grow back - some still productive trees are well over 200 years old), then habitat and livelihoods may be lost. 62,500 workers might be displaced along with the "endangered Iberian lynx, the Barbary deer, the black vulture and the imperial Iberian eagle." In a recent 5 year period, natural cork usage in wine bottles dropped by 18%. If the trend were to continue, an area half the size of Switzerland may be under threat. Australian newspapers have been carrying a 'Yes To Cork' campaign in the past few months. It appears to be a sibling to the Real Cork initiative in Europe. All these programs highlight that cork extraction is financially, socially and environmentally sustainable, and that corks can easily be either recycled or composted, in contrast to the lifecycles of their newly arrived competitors. ::WWF via The Independent.