The environmental impact from packaging is generally far lower than that from an increase in product loss. In the case of a cork stopper the impact of wine loss is by far larger than the impact of the cork stopper material itself for all examined life cycle assessment categories. A figure of between 2 and 5% spoilage is estimated, often due to TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole), one of the chief causes of cork taint.
Aluminium closures have the lowest overall environmental impact when the whole life cycle of a bottle of wine is considered. This is because they significantly reduce the risk of spoilage. When comparing the two wine closure systems (cork stopper and aluminium closure) the aluminium closure has the lowest overall environmental impact … and the quality of the wine is better preserved.