28 June 2000
Real corks are greener, say Portuguese

BRITISH supermarkets have been accused of threatening the livelihoods of Portuguese farmers with false and damaging claims, reports The Guardian.

The row erupted after many wine retailers switched to plastic corks, leading to complaints from customers who prefer the natural alternative.

Marks and Spencer told disgruntled customers that plastic corks are environmentally sound because it saves trees from being felled.

And Safeway said cork farmers are damaging forests and driving out wildlife, reports The Guardian.

But Portuguese cork farmers and environmentalists say these accusations are false.

They say trees are not cut down and species such as boar thrive under forest management techniques.

M&S admitted its information was incorrect and Safeway said it was ready to be corrected.