November 4, 2008
Another Stop For Stoppers

If you drink wine, you likely gather wine corks. When the bottle is empty, you could just throw out the cork. Too many, however, have stories to tell, memories to evoke, a funny drawing, a witty saying or a helpful telephone number. Someday, you're apt to think, you'll find a use for those corks. As a consequence, they gather in bags in the garage, basement or barn. And you still don't have a solution about what to do with them.

Now, the Whole Foods Market chain and ReCork America, a recycling program sponsored by cork producer Amorim, are teaming up to give wine enthusiasts another option to dispose of their stained and torn corks.

The two companies are launching a six-month trial program whereby wine drinkers can dump their old corks into recycling bins in the wine departments of 25 Whole Foods stores in northern California and Reno. The participating markets include the Sacramento store and the Roseville branch, which is to open Wednesday.

Wine corks, noted Roger Archey, program manager for ReCork, can be converted into a wide range of secondary uses, from floor tiles to fishing-rod handles. An estimated 13 billion natural corks are used by the world wine trade annually, Archey says.

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