Charity thanks to the recycling of corks

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The idea comes from a bank employee of Pordenone: in 3 years, almost €17,000 have been donated with 700 collection points.

The circular economy revolution is often people-powered: take the example of Tappodivino, a project initiated by an employee of a bank in Pordenone, Roberta Maset: “the lady of corks”, as she is being called, realized that separating wine corks from the rest of the garbage made it possible to generate economic value and fund charity projects.

“The idea came to me a couple years ago – tells Roberta Maset to the newspaper Messaggero Veneto – I am usually very careful about recycling and I never knew where to throw wine corks. I looked it up online and I came across the ethical project of Amorin Cork.”

The idea soon developed into an ethical project where wine corks are recycled and transformed into materials for bioconstructions, while the revenues are donated to non-profit organisations for cancer research and treatment.

“Thanks to the work of a social cooperative – explains the newspaper Il Piccolo from Trieste – corks are cleaned of all foreign components (metal wire, silicone, plastic, etc.) and brought to a recycling company which grinds them into granules: cork then becomes an excellent raw material.”

One ton of recycled corks is worth €700, which after expenses are donated to the non-profit organizations participating in the project. The initiative, which began less than 3 years ago, now involves as many as 700 collection points in Friuli Venezia Giulia and in the eastern part of Veneto. So far, 24 tons of cork (over 3 million wine corks) have been collected, generating €16,800 to donate to cancer charities.

Roberta Maset received the help of the Moretto family, which owns a demolition enterprise in Pordenone, Via Roveredo. “They allowed me to use one of their depots – tells Maset to Messaggero Veneto – Since corks are classified as special waste and not as raw materials, we needed a certificate to be allowed to work with them, and the enterprise agreed to get it for the project”. The enterprise also offered for free the vehicles required to move the loads of cork. The project also counts on the help of the Zanon brothers (80 and 83 years old) in Cordenons, says Messaggero Veneto: they receive the corks in their garage in little quantities and they separate the corks so as to return only pure material for further processing.

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