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Laithwaites and Amorim launch cork re-cycling project

Published:  10 August, 2009

Laithwaites Wines has joined forces with Amorim, to launch a cork re-cycling project across ten of its stores.

Based in Reading, Laithwaites who are key customers for Amorim corks, have asked customers to throw used natural corks into giant collection bins instore rather than the domestic dustbin. The stoppers are then collected, granulated centrally and either used as fertiliser or given to schools for charity projects.

The stores sell over 1.7 million bottles of cork-closed wines each year and for every 10,000 corks Laitwaites use in its global mail order, website & retail operation, Amorim plant another young cork oak tree in the Alentejo forests for future generations.

These trees will supply quality wine stoppers for Laithwaites wines for years to come, and continued re-planting will help preserve one of the world's key biodiversity 'hotspots'. Cork forests are estimated to retain as much as 10,000,000 tons of CO2 every year.

Head of wine development at Laithwaites Wine, Anne Linder said: "It's all about giving back what we use."

"We're firmly committed to the use of real cork closures and work closely with Amorim to develop the best stoppers for our wines. We see using natural cork as really positive for the environment and it sends out a strong ecological message to our 700,000 odd customers."

The used corks are either used as moisture retainers on the company's vineyard in Theale, near Reading, or donated to local schools to make cork boards for charity sales, and the granules can be used in a wide range of products from aerospace industry materials to designer shoes.

Anne Linder is positive about the continued success of the scheme added: "Hopefully our partnership with Amorim shows that cork sustainability is an achievable goal and that everyone involved in wine, from manufacturers to customers, can help recycle responsibly."