The rise of inexpensive non-European wines and convenience-obsessed consumer culture are threatening the ancient and sustainable cork industry. But besides the potential loss of long-established ‘green jobs’ and the fact that plastic stoppers and screw caps are bad for the environment, the cork industry also sustains large areas of industry-managed forests, which are hotspots for biodiversity. Large bird populations depend on these forests, as does the endangered Iberian Lynx. Cork forests are not cut down, but rather the trees are stripped of their soft bark every nine years throughout their 200-year lifespan. This makes the industry very sustainable because it…
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