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A Little Cork Makes A Big Difference

Submitted By: Whitney Rigsbee, August 29, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas – In just six months, Texas-area residents collected and returned used wine corks that generated a $10,000 donation to the CHRISTUS Stehlin Foundation, a world-class cancer research firm based in Houston.

This collection is part of The Cork Project – a unique program with two simple goals: help save the earth by reducing the number of items in landfills and find a cure for cancer by raising money for research…one cork at a time.

Long-standing partners in this project, Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods, and Nomacorc, a leading producer of alternative wine closures, have made it their mission to recycle and “upcycle,” or repurpose, used wine corks through the appropriate channels in Texas. Spec’s stores across Texas have cork collection bins for the cork project.

The recent addition of WidgetCo, a Houston-based recycler, to The Cork Project ensures that the corks will be recycled properly and that every cork will find a future. The funds generated from the recycling and upcycling of natural and synthetic corks are donated back to the Stehlin Foundation.

“The program would not have been successful without the help and effort from our partners, Nomacorc and WidgetCo. This collaboration is a true example of sustainability, as we are not only ensuring a second life for used wine closures, but providing resources for our local non-profit community,” said Lisa Rydman Key, Spec’s third-generation. “Supporting cancer research is such a personal mission for the Spec’s family, and we’re proud The Cork Project could contribute to the Stehlin Foundation.”

“We are extremely grateful for The Cork Project and the team effort from Spec’s, Nomacorc, WidgetCo and the Texas community,” said Robert Anderson, president of The Stehlin Foundation. “This donation will help us expand our research and utilize more resources to help find a cure for cancer.”

As part of The Cork Project’s upcycling efforts, WidgetCo sells artists and crafters used wine corks as part of their upcylcing projects. Check out some creative examples here:;

For more information, please contact Whitney Rigsbee at (919) 460-2274 or


About Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods: Since 1962, family-owned Spec’s has been providing exceptional service and an impressive selection of unique finds for hungry and thirsty Texans. With more than 100 locations in more than 35 cities, this once-small company now has tens of thousands of products in its larger locations, including thousands of wines and spirits, mixers, hundreds of craft beers, walk-in humidors, gourmet foods and accessories. For more information or to find a location near you, visit

About Nomacorc: Normacorc is a worldwide leader in wine closures and the No. 1 closure brand for still wines in many countries, including the U.S. Dedicated to technological innovation, Nomacorc manufactures its portfolio of 100 percent recyclable products using a patented co-extrusion process. As a result, the closures provide consistent, predictable oxygen management and protect against off-flavors due to oxidation, reduction or cork taint. For more information, visit

WidgetCo: WidgetCo manufactures and distributes precision-engineered metal, plastic, cork, rubber and wood products. With environmental stewardship as a core philosophy, WidgetCo strives to reduce their carbon footprint via programs that reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle. For more information, visit

CHRISTUS Stehlin Foundation for Cancer Research: The Stehlin Foundation was founded in 1969 by Dr. John S. Stehlin Jr., a progressive and passionate surgical oncologist with the mission to discover and develop the most effective treatments for patients suffering from cancer in the shortest period of time. For more information, visit