Majestic hopes the initiative will be embraced both by customers and other retailers.
Individual collection points are being set up this week across all of Majestic’s 190 stores.
The collected corks will be then delivered to the Eden Project in Cornwall where they will be used, on a trial basis, as mulching for Mediterranean plants.
The project’s goal is to recycle over 1 million corks per year, offsetting the equivalent to 309 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
‘As a national retailer, we’re always looking at ways we can pull our weight in the climate crisis. Cork represents a perfectly circular, environmentally friendly industry from cork oak to bottle – with just one final missing component; what happens after the wine has been drunk. By working with the Cork Association, we’re squaring the circle,’ explained John Colley, Majestic CEO, in a statement announcing the scheme.
The move might also help bring customers back in store following a shift in buying behaviour, as a result of the pandemic, that boosted and consolidated online sales.
‘I’m sure not only will this give our customers another reason to enjoy a great bottle of wine, but also another reason to visit us in-store – with their pockets brimming with corks!’ said Colley.
Carlos de Jesus, APCOR Campaign Director, said: ‘It’s great to be teaming up with our friends at Majestic and The Eden Project on such an exciting and unique project. Cork is […] a fabulous, natural product which has a story and history all of its own. The fact that we can add another chapter to that story […] is really thrilling.’
APCOR represents the leading Portuguese cork producers, promotes the sector and sponsors educational initiatives and scientific research.
The association already has recycling partnerships in other international markets – namely Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, France and the USA.