Cork products such as bottle corks are often and easily discarded after a single use and thus unnecessarily end up in incinerators at an early stage. The Dutch drink 500 to 800 million bottles of wine per year on average ( Grote-hamersma-2017-en-hoeveel-wijn-drinken-we-eigenlijk-nl/), of which approximately 35% have corks, which nearly all end up in the waste bin.

Cork oak can only be harvested some 25 years after planting. In addition, the bark, which can be harvested every 7 to 9 years, is only fit for use as bottle cork and in other high-quality applications from the third harvest on.

Natural cork is a reusable resource with many applications, thanks to its excellent insulating, sound-absorbing and aesthetic properties.

Project results

The aim is to separate cork waste by quality in an economically viable manner, in order to eventually reuse it as a resource for new high-quality cork products. This follows the increasingly loud demand from various markets where cork can be used. (Growing Demand for Global Wine Cork Market research to Significantly Increase Revenues Through 2018 – 2028) (APCOR year book 2018/2019)

Project team

Anton Winkelmolen, Leon Weijs, Arnoud Hanenburg (Pro Suber), Richard de la Roy (Eco-Makelaar) en Ton Voncken (Bio Treat Center)

Period of time

February 2020 till July 2020

Research group Agro-mechatronics

Marcel Roosen

08850 78422

Project leader

Anton Winkelmolen

08850 79720


Pro Suber, Eco-makelaar en Bio Treat Center