Can You Recycle Wine Bottle Corks? And How To Do It!

We're answering your toughest sustainability questions! Ask us via Facebook, Twitter or email - #Ask1MW

This week, we've been asked, "Can wine corks be recycled and where can you do it?"

Good question! The simple answer is yes, wine corks can indeed be recycled. Cork is a natural and biodegradable material made from the bark of Cork Oak Trees. It can be recycled into a range of products such as cork boards, coasters, and flooring.

However, we checked with our friends at Planet Ark and unfortunately at the moment, there are no organisations accepting corks for recycling in Australia.

This has left a big gap for cork recycling in Australia! (And maybe an opportunity for any sustainable innovators out there).

[Cork oaks in Sardinia, Tempio Pausania. Image: Alessandro Vecchi)

Why is recycling important in general?

Recycling reduces and can even eliminate the need to extract raw materials, saving limited natural resources.

It's not just the planet that benefits from our efforts, as business and people profit too. The process of recycling and composting creates more jobs than incineration and landfill, with 9.2 jobs in recycling for every 2.8 jobs in landfill.

So, what else can you do with corks?

Corks can be composted (but only if they're a natural and not a synthetic cork) or turned into garden mulch. For both of these options make sure you shred the cork first to make it easier to break down.

Corks can also be reused for craft or DIY purposes. Here's a few of our favourite DIY projects involving corks:

1 Million Women is empowering women and girls around the world to lower their impact on the planet. If you love what we do, please support our work by donating a couple of dollars. For the price of a cuppa, you can help us inspire millions more! (click to donate)

Cork Mini Planters

These cork planters from Upcycle That are a wonderful idea and don't look too difficult to make. They could be used as ornaments, fridge magnets and would also make for a great upcycled gift.

[Image: Upcycle That]

Wine Cork Herb Markers

These fun herb markers from Shine Your Light are an easy way to label what you've got growing in the garden or in pots on your balcony.

[Image: Shine Your Light]

Wine Cork Keyrings

All you will need for this one is wine corks and some key ring chains from the craft store. Thanks to Cleverly Inspired for this great DIY.

[Image: Cleverly Inspired]

Wine Cork Stamp

Make your own small stamp from a wine cork! This could be a fun one to do with kids, or to have in your art supplies kit. Thanks to Morning Creativity for the directions.

[Image: Morning Creativity]

Hope that helps! Let us know in the comments below if you know of any other ways to recycle or upcycle wine corks.

1 Million Women is more than our name, it's our goal! We're building a movement of strong, inspirational women acting on climate change by leading low-carbon lives. To make sure that our message has an impact, we need more women adding their voice. We need to be louder. Joining us online means your voice and actions can be counted. We need you.

Bronte Hogarth Digital Strategy and Communications Suggest an article Send us an email

Recent Blog Articles