Earth911 Podcast: Mike Baker’s ReCORK Recycling Puts The Circular Into Footwear

Earth911 Podcast: Mike Baker’s ReCORK Recycling Puts The Circular Into Footwear

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Circular economies develop from the bottom up, beginning with recognizing {that a} materials used to make a product may be recaptured, reused, resold, and recycled to decrease the price of sourcing uncooked supplies. Mike Baker noticed the chance to recycle cork to be used within the customized insoles and footwear his firm, SOLE, makes and launched the ReCORK collection network greater than 15 years in the past. Since founding in 2008 as a second enterprise of the customized orthopedic insole firm SOLE, ReCORK has recycled an astonishing 132 million wine corks and planted over 8,000 cork bushes. These milestones are a part of SOLE’s broader mission to cut back environmental influence and promote sustainable practices. ReCORK just lately contributed an Earth911 article, Recycle Cork To Replace Petroleum-Based Polymers and Foams, about its program.

Mike Baker, Founder and CEO of customized insole maker SOLE and the ReCORK recycling community, is our visitor on Sustainability In Your Ear.

Too usually, we hear that one facet of the equation — the producer or the buyer — is solely answerable for recycling. It is a partnership that can’t succeed if step one, placing the fabric again into the system for recycling, isn’t taken at dwelling or the workplace. ReCORK discovered a option to make that first step extra accessible for shoppers and companies by putting assortment bins in bars, liquor shops, and shoppers. Mike explains how assortment should be adopted up with by cautious materials administration, together with designing it to be simply deconstructed for processing right into a reusable feedstock for the subsequent spherical of merchandise. And the story of the journey of a cork or a PC or an aluminum can is crucial to be transparently shared with the general public so that individuals be taught they’ll recycle with confidence — it takes time, which is at all times in brief provide; subsequently, it’s vital to let each participant within the round financial system know their efforts have been worthwhile. You can be taught extra about  ReCORK at, and to take a look at SOLE, go to

Then, take a while to be taught extra concerning the sustainable vogue and footwear: