Screwcap vs. Cork: Which is Greener?

This is not your typical cork versus screw cap article. This is the only time I will use the word “oxygen” in this piece. Search for “cork vs. screw cap” and you’ll find plenty of discussions on reduction-oxidation chemistry, an increasing amount of data, and plenty of arguing. What you won’t find is much comparing corks and screw caps on an environmental footing.

Green has been, for the past few years, as important to the wine industry as red and white. Wineries are conspicuously moving to lighter bottles, biodegradable shipping containers, and energy-efficient operating systems. The cork industry publicists have begun marketing natural cork as the earth-friendly closure option, but that discussion really hasn’t hit mainstream. I searched the American Journal of Enology and ViticultureThe Australian Journal of Grape and Wine ResearchThe Journal of Wine ResearchThe International Journal of Wine Research, and Wines and Vines for articles on the environmental impact of producing cork and/or screw cap closures and found none.