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Cork’s Sustainability Depends on New Uses

The wine industry’s conversion from corks to plastic caps is beginning to have an unintended consequence—threatening the sustainability of the nation’s existing cork oak trees. In recent years, up to 90 percent of wine bottle caps have been converted to plastic. Without sufficient demand for cork, producers have less incentive to maintain the trees, which are beginning to disappear.

One company coming to the rescue is Adapt-Mobile Ltd., maker of phone accessories, which now offers its Adapt Eco Case line, which is made of natural cork. The cases are stylish and leather-like in appearance, touch and durability, but provide a much more eco-friendly solution to protecting smartphones and laptops. The natural protective properties of cork also make the cases both heat- and water-resistant.

Adapt-Mobile is working in partnership with Trees for Cities, an independent charity working to enrich biodiversity, create social cohesion and beautify cities through community tree planting, education and training initiatives in urban areas.

By purchasing Adapt Eco Cases, consumers can create a demand for corkwood, thereby supporting the ecosystems in which cork grows. In addition, Adapt-Mobile is donating 55 cents from every Eco Case sold to support the planting of new cork trees. Its goal is to plant more than 900 trees by 2011.


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