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|Articles - August 2010|
|Wednesday, July 21, 2010|
Cork is an important part of the wine industry. Maybe not as critical as the grape, but hard to think of a bottle without it. Salem-based Cork ReHarvest, an environmental nonprofit, is working to bolster cork’s importance as a manufactured good with a new cork recycling program.
The Cork Quality Council estimates 13 billion corks are used worldwide each year, and 1 billion in the U.S. Only one-third are recycled. “It’s a throw-away for most people,” says Cork ReHarvest executive director Patrick Spencer. There is enough used cork currently in the industry to put a cork in every bottle of wine consumed in the U.S. for the next 100 years.
Spencer founded Cork ReHarvest in 2008. To create the recycling program, Spencer created partnerships between Cork ReHarvest and wineries, Whole Foods, and Corvallis-based molded fiber manufacturer Western Pulp. Consumers bring corks to collection bins at Whole Foods stores. Trucks take the bins to Whole Foods distribution centers and then they are shipped to Western Pulp. Western Pulp expects to receive approximately 1.35 million recycled corks in 2010. It grinds down the corks and combines them with newspaper to make wine-shipping boxes.
It’s not clear whether the recycling program will financially impact the wine industry. Cork becomes contaminated once a wine bottle is opened, and cannot be reused to cork another, even if it is recycled. Spencer says recycled cork has a number of uses, including in flooring, shoes and packaging.
Winemakers hope the recycling program helps reverse a trend of using plastic corks or screw caps as closures. Cork has come under attack because it can ruin a bottle of wine with “cork taint.” In response, says Susan Sokol Blosser, founder of Sokol Blosser Winery, “there’s been a concerted effort to develop other closures.”
Even though plastic corks and screw caps are cheaper than corks, winemakers readily use corks because they are renewable, sustainable and create jobs for people living in the Mediterranean area where cork trees grow.
“Cork is one of the few renewable resources that we have available to us in the wine industry,” Sokol Blosser says.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT
The Knight challenge is an important instance of philanthropy. But we should not assume it will magically transform OHSU into a business- and job-spinning engine for the local economy.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Portland is awash in rideshare options. We ask the head of Flywheel what sets his app apart.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT
The CRC is a cautionary tale about how we plan for, finance and invest in transportation infrastructure.
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Oregon already ranks as the nation’s second largest generator of hydroelectric power. (Washington is No. 1). Now an elegant new installation in Portland is putting an unconventional, sharing economy twist on this age-old water-energy pairing. The new system, launched this winter, uses the flow of water inside city water pipes to spin four turbines that produce electricity for Portland General Electric customers.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
On April 1 I attended a forum at the University of Portland on the sharing economy. The event featured panelists from Lyft and Airbnb, as well as Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. Asked about the impact of tech-driven sharing economy services. Hales said the new business models are reshaping the landscape. “But,” he added, “I don’t pretend to understand how a lot of this [technology] works.”
Friday, May 08, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.
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34 spots for food, 17 places to sip, and 7 sites to choose a brew beckon visitors.