Forests Corked?

Did you know that Mediterranean cork-oak forests provide 15 billion corks a year to the wine industry? They say this is a sustainable enterprise, mostly because cork is harvested from live trees rather than dead ones. But oddly, while plastic and screw-top closures are growing in popularity, some say this drop in the cork market could lead to poor forest management or abandonment, putting forests at heightened risk of desertification and forest fires.

And so the World Wildlife Fund is is urging the wine companies to stick with cork, saying that the forests could be imperiled if management goes awry. What an odd thought. Let’s use more cork to save it.