With corkwood products like the Corco Corkwood Bag being boasted as an eco-friendly alternative to other traditionally used materials, many people question the ethics behind its sourcing. Most often associated with wine corks, corkwood comes from the bark of cork oak trees which are generally found in Mediterranean Europe and North Africa. The claims of sustainability come from the way these trees are harvested. Because the bark is merely stripped off the trees, there are no trees harmed or cut down in the process. It takes about 9-12 years for the bark to grow back thick enough to be harvested again. Though this may seem like a rather lengthy wait, while the trees are growing back their bark they actually suck up to 5 times the amount of carbon from the atmosphere than they usually would to fuel photosynthesis. It is estimated that for every 1 ton of natural cork stoppers produced roughly 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide is absorbed. Not only does the harvesting of corkwood help deplete carbon emissions but the areas where these trees are found often provide biodiverse hotspots for endangered species. Aside from the sustainable and renewable qualities of corkwood, it offers a plethora of functional features. Corkwood is naturally water and fire resistant, insulating, anti-microbial and of course biodegradable making it the perfect grocery bag. It easily takes the place of foams, plastics, leather and much more. Products made from corkwood also offer lightweight comfort because of their lower density and a unique, yet understated stylishness that’s great for everyday use.
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