Majestic launch first cork recycling scheme in the UK
UK specialist wine retailer Majestic is launching a cork recycling scheme across its store estate – which it claims is a first for the UK – as well as its own Wine Club.
The wine retailer has announced plans to recycle one million corks a year as the country looks to catch up with Europe.
Working with the Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR), the nationwide scheme which is being rolled out across 200 of its stores, will cut 309 tonnes of CO2 every year, and will be the first of its kind in the country.
According to a study by the finance firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, corks are the most environmentally friendly form of wine closure – more than 20 times greener than screw caps.
Majestic said it hopes customers get behind the campaign. CEO John Colley said: “Cork represents a perfectly circular, environmentally friendly industry from cork oak to bottle, but there has been one missing component – what happens after the wine has been drunk.
“We’re squaring the circle.”
The UK consumes around 12m bottles of wine every week, and around 50 per cent use corks, with the others closed by metal screw caps. Cork waste has been difficult to avoid historically as the material can be composted and reused but cannot be put into household recycling.
Majestic is working with the Eden Project, Cornwall and the Cork Association to recycle the wine corks and the retailer hopes to “smash” its target of 1m each year. With collection hubs placed in every Majestic store, customers will be encouraged to return their natural corks and give the cork closure a new lease of life. Once collected, the recycled natural corks will be sent to The Eden Project, who will be trialling the cork as a mulch around the Mediterranean plants.
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