Cork: Environmentally friendly

Bag a cork

Iron Gate Cellarage Inc. and Girl Guides of Canada, Ontario Council today announced an innovative environmental program initiative – Bag-a-Cork. The Bag-a-Cork initiative, the first of such in North America, involves the collection of cork bottle stoppers in bins located in participating locations such as the larger hotels, restaurants, LCBO locations, retail outlets and high rise condominium lobbies.
It is estimated that each year in Ontario over 100 million corks end up in the garbage. This is approximately 543 tonnes per year, which when set end to end is enough cork to reach from Toronto to Vancouver.

“At Iron Gate we believe that it is important for every company to play a part in its community. This partnership with Girl Guides through the Bag-a-Cork Recycling initiative is our way of doing that,” said Warren F. Porter, Founder and President of Iron Gate Cellarage Inc., a fine wine storage facility located in Toronto. “We have committed 10% of our profits to our community and also believe in working with charities on larger projects that contribute more that just funding. Companies must change their approach to helping the community - think big, be creative or look at how to expand their existing programs for greater impact.”
“This is an excellent initiative that will divert valuable cork from landfills and will help teach Girl Guides the importance of recycling,” Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky said.
“Girl Guides are excited to be part of the Bag-a-Cork Recycling initiative. This environmental program initiative will provide many learning opportunities for both our girl and adult members,” said Maggie Van Dusen, Provincial Commissioner for Girl Guides of Canada, Ontario Council. “We look forward to developing this program so we can quickly expand it to the rest of the province of Ontario.”

Bag-a-Cork will initially operate in the Greater Toronto Area and is expected to run province-wide within a year.  People are asked to collect their cork bottle stoppers and deposit them in participating bin locations such as restaurants, larger hotels, retail outlets and designated LCBO locations. Adult Members of Girl Guides will empty the bins and along with the girls will sort the corks to ensure that only 100% cork products are shipped to the recycling facility. The Guides plan to develop educational programs to teach the girls about the continuous life cycle of cork and importance of environmental programs such as these. 

Jelinek Cork Group in Oakville, Ontario will purchase and recycle the corks into other cork products such as household items including coasters, placemats, flooring, furniture and sporting equipment.
The Founding partners of the program include Ontario Girl Guides, Iron Gate Cellarage Inc., The Vin de Garde Club, Jelinek Cork Group, and the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS). 
Bins will be in place as early as Saturday February 26th in locations including: Inniskillin Wines Inc., The Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery, Tasting Room, Niagara College Teaching Winery, The York Club, George Brown University, Centre for Vine Affairs, The Hilton Hotel Toronto, The Wine Establishment, Il Mulino Ristorante, Oro Restaurant, Cosmo Restaurant, Ruth’s Chris Steak House (Toronto and Mississauga), Crush Wine Bar, Grapefully Yours, George Restaurant, Verity Club and participating LCBO locations.
Up-to-date information on new bin locations will be listed on the official web site, www.bag-a-cork.org.
Early program supporters include The Ravenshoe Group, The Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Apple Self-Storage Ltd., Access Self-Storage, Proforma and Art Department , Spark Creative, Radiant Communications, Grapefully Yours, and The Wine Doctor.


Girl Guides of Canada-Guides du Canada is the largest organization for girls and women. Guiding provides opportunities for fun, friendship and adventures; personal and leadership development; role modeling for girls and women; community involvement; environmental stewardship.  Through Guiding's various imaginative and innovative activity choices, girls are empowered to reach their potential, be independent, confident and caring as they learn to develop decision making and life skills. Guiding helps them connect with their community and with the wider world.

Iron Gate Cellarage Inc. is a Toronto-based Canadian company offering private, off-site cellarage for those who wish to leave the management of their wine collection to professionals.  Information on Iron Gate Cellarage can be found on their web site: www.irongatewine.com.

The Vin de Garde Club is a unique new service available for novices and experts alike who wish to build a wine collection. Referred to as the “Mutual Fund of Fine Wine”. Members contribute a fixed amount every month and have top experts choose wine on their behalf. We then purchase and take delivery of their wine and place it into a professional cellar.

Jelinek Cork Group specializes in all cork products including stoppers, floor and wall coverings, acoustical anti-static insulating materials, and specialty cork components for the automotive, fashion, furniture, musical, construction and building industries.

Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) is recognized both nationally and internationally as a significant contributor to the continuing development of professional wine service standards of excellence.  The Toronto chapter of CAPS is committed to build a strong organization of members dedicated to developing the sommelier profession.


For more information, please contact:                             
Mary Porto 416-920-6666, extension 250
Victoria Ollers 416-822-2288.

Read António Amorim's, President of APCOR, letter of support regarding this initiative:Bag a Cork Letter.pdf