UK’s First National Cork Recycling Scheme Launched At Majestic

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Majestic, the UK’s largest specialist wine retailer, has today unveiled details of a nationwide cork recycling scheme in over 200 of its stores. Working with the Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR), the aim is to recycle over 1 million corks per year – equating to over 309 tonnes of CO2 in the process.

According to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, corks are by far the most environmentally friendly form of wine closure – over 20x more so than screw caps. However, until now nationwide cork recycling has not been available in the UK unlike in other parts of the world. Majestic’s scheme is the first of its kind, and the retailer is hoping customers and colleagues alike will get behind the campaign.

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, Cornwall, who will be trialling the cork as a mulch around the Mediterranean plants.

Majestic CEO, John Colley, explained the company’s thinking behind the move:

“As a national retailer, we’re always looking at ways we can pull our weight in the climate crisis. Cork represents a perfectly circular, environmentally friendly industry from cork oak to bottle – with just one final missing component; what happens after the wine has been drunk. By working with the Cork Association, we’re squaring the circle by giving our customers and stores the opportunity to continue a natural cork’s journey at the Eden Project. I’m sure not only will this give our customers another reason to enjoy a great bottle of wine, but also another reason to visit us in-store – with their pockets brimming with corks!”

As a 100% renewable, 100% natural and 100% recyclable product, used wine corks have seen a second life in space craft, presidential gifts (including a collar for Barack Obama’s dog), high fashion – and much more besides. Natural cork oak forests also boast some of Europe’s greatest biodiversity and sustainable agriculture, capturing over 4.7mt of CO2.

João Rui Ferreira, Vice-President of APCOR said: “It’s great to be teaming up with our friends at Majestic and the Eden Project on such an exciting and unique project. Cork is about so much more than simply a closure. It’s a fabulous, natural product which has a story and history all of its own. The fact that we can add another chapter to that story, with hundreds of thousands of corks collected from right across the UK to be used at such an iconic site, is really thrilling. I hope that Majestic’s customers have their corkscrews at the ready!”.

About Majestic

Majestic is the UK’s largest specialist wine retailer, operating a network of over 190 stores nationwide, plus two in France. Founded in 1980, the company recently passed back into private ownership.

There is no minimum purchase shopping at Majestic, and the range includes over 1,100 different wine, spirits and beers both online and in-store.

Majestic’s key strength is over 1,000 WSET trained colleagues offering knowledgeable, friendly service across all channels.

For more information, please contact: Jack Merrylees // 07920264268 // jack.merrylees@majestic.co.uk

About APCOR

Associação Portuguesa da Cortiça (APCOR) exists to promote natural cork and its products. APCOR is the employers’ association of the cork sector that represents, promotes and carries out research in the Portuguese cork industry. It was created in 1956 and is based in Santa Maria de Lamas, in the council of Santa Maria da Feira, at the heart of the cork industry around 30 kilometers from Porto, Portugal’s second largest city. Membership of the association is open to all companies operating in the fields of production, marketing or export of cork products. The organization advocates on behalf of the Portuguese cork industry worldwide and is the driving force of an industry based on tradition, innovation and sustainability

 About Cork Oak Forest

A cork oak tree is first harvested once the trees are mature, which takes around 25 years. Each tree is then harvested every 9 years, which is how long it takes for the bark to grow back thick enough for it to be useful for making corks – the trees are never cut down. Cork is 100% natural, recyclable and reusable and the cork oak forests are crucial in the fight against climate change and fostering biodiversity with factors including:

Preventing soil degradation

Regulating the hydrological cycle

Retaining and storing 14 million tons of C02

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