Portugal supplies a lot of cork, about 157,000 tonnes/year, and it grows over half the world’s supply of cork. However, the world may no longer need so much cork since the wine industry is opting to use metal screwtops and plastic stoppers instead. Thus, Portuguese engineers are finding other ways to use this resource, yet one seems to be more promising than others.
In the future, the material now used to keep your red wine fresh may be used to make parts for airplanes. Although it remains to be seen as a viable material in the aviation sector, there would be plenty of benefits. Cork is greener than PVC and other plastics that are in use and would protect the vast cork forests of Portugal.