English Version Versão Portuguesa Version Française Versione Italiana Türkçe Sürüm Wersja Polski Variantă Română Ελληνική έκδοση Magyar Nyelv Český Jazyk Versión Española

Ranking of Recyclers

< Back


NGO Quercus


“Green Cork”

The main Portuguese NGO (together with LPN). Goal: “recycle 90 million (30% of all corks consumed in Portugal), in 2012, and plant one million trees in 5 years” . Planting 200.000 seeds in 2009. “The little trees are purchased by symbolic prizes , and planted in land that any person can request (scouts, forest owner associations, town councils, schools...)

Start date:

June 2008 (after one year preparation). Paulo Magalhães (Quercus) thought about planting trees in his Condominium project.

How much:

12 tons (3 million corks) in January 2009. Most of it (9 tons) comes from Modelo Continente.


Cork company Amorim. They buy the stoppers 500 euros/ton. They inaugurated “the first industrial unit of the sector with a license to recycle used corks” . The corks are sorted by hand, ground and treated with superheated steam to eliminate odours and impurities. The granules are used in a variety of products made by the company such as insulation, aerospace or design products. Amorim also collaborates within other countries such as the United States where it works with Whole Foods Markets California), the largest organic supermarket chain in the world. In June 2008, receptacles for the collection of corks were placed at all Portuguese industrial units which collected near to 400kg of corks.

Modelo Continente (an extensive chain of food shops). Collection boxes (Rolhinhas) strategically placed at the entrance of supermarkets between the checkouts and the customer information point. They consist of rectangular plastic containers with two wheels for transportation. Now Modelo is in contact with other chains of food shops (Pingo Doce, Jumbo ...), to expand the campaign.

Biological (company specialising in the collection and recycling of used greasy and oily food products) has placed its national network at Quercus’s disposal. Biological undertakes its collection of used food oils from the producers themselves (restaurants, communities, rubbish skips or citizens can place their used oil in plastic bottles). Afterwards the oils are cleaned and stored to be sold in Spain.
Of the 8000 restaurants that take part in this campaign “oil recycling”, 4000 have agreed to participate in the “Green Cork” campaign. Biological collects cork-filled bags from restaurants that in turn collect the corks in glass flasks visible to the customers and then place them in bags. All these restaurants have stickers to show they are members of the campaign. For Biological the campaign does not have economic costs or benefits. The workforce (14) and transport resources used in the campaign are the same as the ones collecting used oils. The Environment Ministry have helped them (avoiding some expensive bureaucracies).

Education Ministry, contacted schools and there are already unregistered 1.500 in the campaign. The Ministry is responsible for the Distribution of the containers and the divulgation.

Nogueira Transports (Truck Company that guarantees the final delivery of the corks to Amorim).

The Portalegre Wine Cooperative, who traditionally produced a wine with a label made of cork (Conventual Wine), began to place stickers from the campaign on their bottles.

Network of the Dolce Vita shopping centres, Café Delta company, National Scout Body, Metro of Lisbon and Porto (for the publicity).


Will finance Quercus’s programme: “Creating Forests to Conserve Biodiversity”, which will plant only native tree species (such as cork-oak).

^ Page top