The answer seems to be no. While synthetic corks are becoming more popular because they are sturdier than traditional corks and do not transfer any strange tastes to the wine, they are also more difficult to dispose of because they aren’t biodegradable like natural corks. Natural corks are made from the bark of cork oaks, which is stripped off about every 10 years to make corks, and then it simply grows back. One cork oak can keep making bark like this for up to 200 years.
Moreover, the existing need for natural corks also necessitates the need for the trees from which corks are produced. Cork oak forests are a natural habitat to many kinds of animals and they also absorb carbon dioxide, decreasing the amount of this greenhouse gas in the air. If preferences shift away from natural wine corks, these forests may no longer be cultivated and possibly left to die.
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