In the past couple years I’ve read of a shortage of cork (the raw material) to make corks (for wine bottles), and seen some of the results in the marketplace, with rubber and composite corks becoming fairly common.
What I didn’t know was that the artificial corks are bad for the environment.
A recent article in the BBC explains that the decline of real cork is due to demand falling, not supply, and the ripple effect is causing considerable ecological damage.
It turns out that not only is harvesting real cork 100% environmentally friendly (the trees are not damaged, and the rest of the forest thrives), but as demand has slumped, cork farmers are cutting down the cork trees to plant alternate crops. Yikes!
So, the lesson for us is, drink more champagne, which only uses natural cork for a stopper.