The Portuguese cork industry urges the public to choose cork to combat climate change

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LONDON, Aug. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Portuguese Cork Harvest is taking place right now in Coruche, in the Ribatejo region where more than half of the world’s cork wine stoppers are made with over 40 million being created per day in the peak. Cork is 100% natural, recyclable and reusable – it is one of the most eco-friendly resources on the planet. The cork oak forests are crucial in the fight against climate change and fostering biodiversity.  The forests prevent soil degradation, regulate the hydrological cycle and are responsible for storing over 14 million tons of CO2.  One cork stopper alone stores 113g of CO2. 

The Portuguese cork harvest in Coruche, in the Ribatejo region by Joel Santos & Magali Tarouca.

Integral to the local community and the most well-paid job in agriculture, the harvest takes place every year from the end of May to the end of August.  A cork oak tree is first harvested once the trees are mature, which takes around 25 years. Protected by Portuguese law, each tree is then harvested every nine years, which is how long it takes for the bark to grow back thick enough for it to be useful for making corks – the trees are never cut down. 

APCOR – The Portuguese Cork Association – Realcork (

Photographers: Joel Santos & Magali Tarouca

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