Can you recycle cork?

The short answer is yes.  Cork is often recycled into things like shoes, mats, insulation, cork boards, and art projects.

Is Cork Natural?

Cork is 100% natural! Its also renewable, recyclable and bio-degradable.  Cork farms absorb millions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year! Furthermore, cork trees can live for upto 300 years and you don’t have to cut them down to harvest the cork. 

How to Recycle Natural Cork?

Natural cork is not typically collected in doorstep recycling schemes in the UK, however, companies like Recorked are dedicated to recycling cork.  But you don’t even need to recycle natural cork, you can just put it in a compost bin or chop it up as mulch for plants.  How natural is that?

What about Synthetic Cork?

Isn’t a lot of cork we use synthetic? Again, the answer is yes.  For example, a lot of cork wine bottle stoppers are synthetic but the good news is synthetic cork can be thrown in your general recycling bin! 

In Summary

So to answer the question, can cork be recycled? Yes it can.

Both natural and synthetic cork can be recycled, though it’s easier to compost or mulch natural cork, whereas synthetic cork can go straight into general recycling bins. 

Further Reading

Here are a few more interesting facts about cork:

  1. Portugal is the world’s largest cork producer.
  2. There are over 6 million acres of cork farms across Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Tunisia and Morocco.
  3. There is enough cork in the forests of Portugal and Spain alone to last for over 100 years of current usage.

To learn more about cork checkout this link;


Thanks for reading!