The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

August 9, 2007

Woman drinks wine, unwittingly threatens endangered animals

corksI 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!

iberian_lynxSo 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.)

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Daniela Coromer
7 years ago

i’m chilean (we produce a lot of wine) and i have never seen a plastic stopper so if it helps someone chilean wine have only cork stoppers

Gary Hedden
10 years ago

Hi Beth,
It’s been 6 years since your post, so what white wine do you like now? I like Albarino. It is Spain’s answer to Italy’s Pinot Grigio. I’m sure you can find one with a real cork.

11 years ago

A good dry wine with cork stoppers ? Anything from Bonterra vineyards from California is incredible. The whites are good, the reds are fantastic. I`ve tried them all. My personal favorite of theirs, while I enjoy all of them is their red zinfindale.

11 years ago

They only use cork!

12 years ago

I choose to drink honey wine/mead. My local producer uses beeswax stoppers which smell great and contain no plastic!

Debi Henson
13 years ago

I lived in Portugal many years ago and got to climb a cork tree that was within a cork orchard. Cork is amazing! Another way to avoid plastic is to buy Portuguese ‘green’ wine, or ‘vinho verde’. It’s light, fizzy, and great tasting with any meal, or alone. I’ve bought it at Bevmo, but haven’t checked anywhere else – yet.

13 years ago

super! super! I had no idea either and have put a link on my facebook page to spread the word! Thanks and keep up the good work!!

Kathy Moll
13 years ago

you asked which dry white wine people would recommend? I love a Pinot Grigio or a Pinot Gris.

Irene King
13 years ago

I have always been an advocate of cork. This has given me even more ammunition, and I’m definitely going to share it!

15 years ago

Crisp white wines – how about a viognier? There are some that are sweet but they are mostly crisp and apple/pear without the oaky chardonnay taste.

15 years ago

I applaud anyone who is looks out and cares for God’s creation. Plastic corks don’t seem right. I hope this is not going to be a trend.

I heard on NPR that China is going to stop handing out plastic bags because it causes a lot of problems ( like clog drain pipes) and when you X that by a billion times that is a lot of plastic.

15 years ago

On the topic of plastic wine corks…I’ve given you a mention over at The Eco-Modernist. Great minds think alike as well since you previously posted over at another blog I have regarding saying NO to PVC shower curtains!

terrible person
16 years ago

Here is a story about a new report on the effects of Bisphenol A (BPA) leaching out of plastic bottles.

16 years ago

Huh. I never knew that. Thanks!

terrible person
16 years ago

I thought corks came from Cork in Ireland.

You should start a new campaign with the slogan, “Don’t complain! Put a cork in it!”