I love wine. I really do. And I’ve drunk a fair amount of it during the weeks since I started my plastic project. But it wasn’t until I read this article a couple of days ago that it occurred to me that some of the wine corks I’ve pulled have been made of plastic! And those plastic corks didn’t even make it into my weekly tallies. Good lord, was I drunk or something??? How could I have missed them?
Fortunately, I like to save my wine stoppers, so I was able to pull out my collection and count them up. For the record, there are 31 cork stoppers and 11 plastic stoppers: 26% plastic!
So why are plastic corks, in addition to all the usual plastic problems, threatening endangered animals? Because they compete with natural Mediterranean cork forests, which not only provide humans with stoppers for their various libations, but also provide unique habitat for some of the world’s more unusual creatures, such as the Iberian Imperial Eagle, the Barbary Deer, and Iberian Lynx, which according to Wikipedia, “is the world’s most threatened species of cat.”
You can read more about the Mediterranean cork forests and WWF’s campaign to save them, as well as watch a beautiful video showing how cork is harvested and the people and animals whose lives depend on it.
Also for the record, the Boissonneau Chateau Moulin de Ferrand Bordeaux Blanc, of which I just bought a whole case, is delicious… and has plastic stoppers. Well, they’ll be in my weekly tally until they’re gone, and then I’ll find a plastic-free crisp white wine to enjoy. Any suggestions? (Not crazy for chardonnay.)