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Published:  23 July, 2008

In an award acceptance speech on 11 June, the Prince of Wales attacked the use of synthetic wine closures. The Prince was in Lubeck, Germany, to receive the 2002 Euronatur Award for his efforts to protect the environment, when he declared: The decision by some winemakers to use plastic stoppers instead of the traditional cork can have far-reaching impacts. Quite why anyone should want to encounter a nasty plastic plug in the neck of a wine bottle is beyond me! Yet this growing practice is causing major changes in the dehesas of Spain and Portugal. The production of cork from the oak trees of the dehesas is a sustainable industry,' he added. The trees live for centuries and the bark can be stripped every nine years. The dehesas provide a rich wildlife habitat.'