Photo: themooring, Flickr
This week, Whole Foods Market announced that all 292 of its stores in the U.S., Canada and England will collect customers' wine corks with the goal of turning them into really cool items. The company has partnered with Cork ReHarvest to find various ways to repurpose the corks. For example, Midwestern Whole Foods stores plan to give the corks to Yemm & Hart, a cork-floor tile manufacturer. At stores west of the Rocky Mountains, corks will be turned into recyclable cardboard shippers containing 10 percent cork. And Jelinek Cork Group, one of North America's oldest cork manufacturers, will be responsible for taking corks turned in at Whole Foods stores along the East Coast in the U.S. and throughout the U.K., and transforming them into an assortment of products for consumers. While news hasn't been announced about what exactly those products will be, Jelinek creates cork coasters, furniture, model-train tracks, fishing rods and flooring designed for yoga studios (as well as yoga blocks).
If you're like us, you have an abundant collection of wine corks. Sure, you could save them for the day when you will actually have the time to sit down and construct trivets or bath mats out of the corks. Or, you can donate them to this good cause.
Whole Foods says it's the first national retailer to offer a cork-recycling program. Only natural corks can be turned into the stores' drop boxes -- so keep those synthetic corks for an innovative D.I.Y. project, perhaps?