Die Firma Top Cap Holding GmbH hat vor drei Jahren den Wirtschaftsstandort Kufstein als Basis für ihr Headquarter gewählt. Seit dieser Zeit wird geforscht, entwickelt und eine Holdingstruktur mit Tochterunternehmen aufgebaut. Das Kernprodukt – „the click cap“, ist nun bereit für die Verhandlung mit den größten Dosenherstellern der Welt und der darauffolgenden Markteinführung. Gelingt diese, kann „the click cap“ den Verpackungsmarkt weltweit revolutionieren.
Gründer und geschäftsführender Gesellschafter der Firma ist Gregor A. Piech, der jüngste Sohn des heuer verstorbenen VW-Patriarchen Ferdinand K. Piech. Bei einem Praktikum ist er auf das Deckel-Patent gestoßen und hat dies in Folge erworben. Der 25-Jährige lebt in Tirol und gründete seine Firma in Kufstein. „Dieser Standort wurde ganz bewusst gewählt. Die gute Verkehrsanbindung und eine Vielzahl potentieller Zulieferbetriebe gaben den Ausschlag“, sagt GF Karlheinz Jungbeck, anlässlich des Betriebsbesuches der Jungen Wirtschaft des Bezirks Kufstein.
Im Unternehmen gibt es eine klare Vision, wie das Produkt positioniert werden sollte und welche Marktdurchdringung erreicht werden kann. „Drei Geschäftsführer zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt erscheinen vielleicht etwas viel. Aber es ist besser, von Anfang an die richtigen Strukturen für die angestrebte Größe zu installieren, als hinterher nachzubessern“, erklärt Jungbeck. 24 Mitarbeiter sind derzeit in der Unternehmensgruppe tätig. Einmal in der Woche wird zusammen Mittag gegessen – im Konferenzraum der Firma. „Das fördert das Gemeinschaftsgefühl“, so Jungbeck, „und stärkt die Motivation.“
Der Markt, den Top Cap beliefern will, ist riesig und geht weit über den heutigen Getränkedosenmarkt hinaus. Künftig könnte auch Wein in Aludosen verkauft werden, genauso wie Milch, Fruchtsäfte, Craft-Beer oder Öle und Schmiermittel. Produkte die jetzt noch in Glasflaschen oder PET abgefüllt werden. Das eine aber ist schwer, das andere umweltschädlich, weil nur begrenzt recyclebar. Im Gegensatz zu Aluminium, wie Jungbeck erläutert: „70 Prozent dieses Materials, das weltweit jemals produziert wurde, ist immer noch im Einsatz.“ Grund hierfür ist neben der hohen Recycling-Quote auch der niedrige Energieaufwand: Für die Wiederaufbereitung des gebrauchten Aluminiums wird nur 5 Prozent der Energie benötigt, die für die Neuproduktion aufgewendet werden müsste.
Die Zeit für die Einführung des wiederverschließbaren Dosendeckels drängt. Der Markt ist in Bewegung. Das Umweltbewusstsein wird größer. Die Stimmung gegen Plastik kippt. Für Jungbeck „ein optimales Umfeld.“
Und dass das Unternehmen und sein Gesellschafter Piech mit „the click cap“ genau richtig liegen, zeigt die Auszeichnung, die im letzten Jahr gewonnen wurde: Der CanMaker Award in Gold für den besten Prototypen weltweit.
Bildnachweis: vlnr.: Andreas Viertel, Leiter Technik Top Cap, Karlheinz Jungbeck, Geschäftsführer Top Cap, Patrick Schönauer, WK Kufstein, und Manfred Gasser, Prokurist Sparkasse Kufstein
We didn’t have Coke at home because my parents knew it was unhealthy. Yet somehow, breakfast cereals containing five times more sugar than Coke had made it onto our breakfast table. That is the blinding efficiency of marketing. And kids make easy targets.
Every industry uses marketing to play on our biases and shape our purchasing habits. In the beverage packaging industry, Tetra Pak is the Honey Smacks of packaging. They have done a phenomenal job of convincing the public that their packaging is green, sustainable, and 100% recyclable. That is no small feat for composite packaging. Tetra Pak contains different layers of carton, polyethylene and aluminium. But what we see, and feel is environmentally friendly carton. Tetra Pak carton is not recycled, it is downcycled – it can’t be used to make another Tetra Pak carton. Every cycle leads to a loss of quality until it ends up in a landfill or an incinerator. As for the polyethylene and aluminium, these materials can no longer be separated and remain combined. Tetra Pak claims it can be "recycled into panel boards, roof sheets and so on", but this is not a cycle. It is a linear system. The packaging industry generates trillions of packaging units per year. Downcycling is not a sustainable long-term strategy.
Packaging with high recycling rates should logically have a high percentage of recycled content. Otherwise, it is likely downcycled. Tetra Pak claims they reached 25% recycling rate in 2017, and yet Tetra Pak packaging contains no recycled content. Aluminium cans reached a global recycling rate of 72% in 2017 and contain 70% recycled content. Aluminium scrap is worth around $1,200 per ton and can easily be separated. It also takes 95% less energy to make a can from recycled content than to make one from scratch. It is straightforward, profitable business. Aluminium cans are not waste; they are a resource. Recycling Tetra Pak requires the right systems and technology in place. Access to recycling facilities varies drastically from region to region. Countries such as Vietnam have seen an enormous increase in Tetra Pak consumption, but have no way to recycle it. While Tetra Pak claims about 20% of their packaging in the region was being recycled, local recycling facilities reported to The Guardian that the real figure was closer to 1%. There is also little demand for roof tiles made from recycled Tetra Pak in the region since they cost twice as much as standard roof tiles. The result is billions of discarded Tetra Pak covering Vietnam’s beaches.
If it were up to the food and beverage industry, we wouldn’t have nutritional labels. The transparency forced by FDA regulations was a necessary response to the devastating health consequences of excessive sugar. Interest in packaging pollution is at an all-time high. Consumers are taking steps to reduce plastic waste, but without transparent information, these steps will go in the wrong direction. Packaging labelling should indicate recycling rates, recycled content present, and whether the materials are infinitely recyclable or downcyclable. Regulations enforcing transparency are necessary to deal with the increasingly devastating effect packaging has on the environment.
Packaging has become a hot topic in recent years as drinks companies look for the best way to promote their products while meeting sustainability goals. Aluminium beverage cans, in particular, have been seen as a superior choice to other packaging formats – not just because of the extent to which theyare recycled, but the durability and reusability of the material.Last year, a report from Alupro, a non-profit representing aluminium recycling in the UK, showed that the recycling rate for aluminium drink cans was 72% in 2017, and could be as high as 85% in 2020. Also in 2018, the International Aluminium Institute stated that 75% of all aluminium ever produced is still in productive use.
To find out if aluminium cans should be the sustainability material of choice moving forward, we spoke to Marcel Arsand, chairman of the Can Makers, a trade body representing can manufacturers in the UK.
Joe Baker: What sustainability benefits do cans offer over other packaging formats?
Marcel Arsand: Aluminium beverage cans are the most recycled beverage containers in the world, and therefore have numerous benefits when compared to other packaging.From the consumer’s perspective, they are lightweight, shatterproof, quicker to chill and provide a total light barrier so the taste of their drink isn’t affected. Due to the size, they also provide great portion control, especially for the younger and more health conscious shopper of today.For brand owners and retailers: cans are easily stackable with great cube efficiency, meaning less vehicles on the road and more cans on shelves. They also represent less fees in terms of producer responsibility. For waste managers and re-processors, cans are easy and cheap to be sorted (all you need is an eddy current) and have a high intrinsic value. In fact, in the UK they subsidise the collection and recycling of the other packaging materials.
JB: Can Makers’ mission is to show how metal packaging ‘contributes to the circular economy’ – can you explain what this means exactly?
MA: The old paradigm was about resource efficiency, focusing on light weighting and carbon, but now we are moving towards a true circular model and aluminium cans are very well suited for it. Cans are made from a permanent material and can be recycled forever, meaning they don’t lose quality – there is no ‘downcycling’. Also, it is estimated that 80% of all aluminium ever produced is still in circulation today. Cans contribute to the economy as they have a high intrinsic value: one tonne of baled used aluminium beverage cans is worth around £1,000, and they are easy and cheap to be sorted too.
JB: Can Makers recently merged with the Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association – can you explain exactly how this merger will help when it comes to promoting cans as a sustainable option?
MA: By working more closely with the wider metal packaging industry we can provide an even stronger voice for our members and demonstrate why cans are a viable sustainable option for drinks makers, retailers and consumers alike more effectively. We will also be able to better coordinate and share our resources to promote metal as the most sustainable pack format.
JB: Have there been any major changes in the way cans are manufactured/the supply chain to make cans more sustainable? What further changes do you think could be made in the future?
MA: When you produce a pack format that is fit for purpose like an aluminium can it is always a challenge to take it to the next level. But that didn’t stop can makers and the supply chain pushing for more. There are several initiatives looking at reducing water, gas and energy consumption as well as improving the recycling rates across Europe, which are currently 74%, with the aim to hit 90% in a few years. Some companies are also involved in the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative for responsibly produced and sourced aluminium.
JB: With products like ‘canned wine’ trending, do you think that more drinks companies could move towards using cans for their products in the future? What might persuade them to do this?
MA: Absolutely! Wine in a can is just one of the great examples of new categories that are adopting cans as their packaging of choice. Water, flavoured water, juices, iced teas, iced coffees, flavoured alcoholic beverage (like mojitos) are all benefiting from the great credentials offered by the can. Why open a whole bottle of wine or even a large fizzy drink when you only want to drink one glass? Cans are perfect for individual servings and portion control. And it is all about giving customers alternatives.
source: https://www.drinks-insight-network.com/features/aluminium-cans-sustainability/ by Joe Baker 7 MARCH 2019
My 10-year-old daughter Anna is currently a fourth-grade student in a primary school in a small Catholic German village. As we are in the fasting period before Easter, her religion teacher decided to let the pupils craft a so called “fasting cube” (Fastenwürfel). The writing on each side of the cube represents something they should abstain from. Every morning the pupils roll the cube to see what particular form of fasting they will attempt on that day.
I was quite surprised to see a drawing of plastic packaging and a metal tin crossed out on one side of the cube. The label read: Plastic and Aluminium. When I asked my daughter why aluminium was placed alongside plastic, she explained her teacher had told her that “aluminium is the worst material in existence for packaging food and beverages”.
I don’t want to accuse the teacher of deliberately spreading misinformation, I just think she doesn’t know better.
She clearly still believes that aluminium is not sustainable, a misconception which dates back to the 90s before Europe inaugurated the most sophisticated recycling system in the world.
As a consequence, she is not able to teach her pupils the simple facts about aluminium:
But as a teacher, her pupils will trust her.
“The world is drowning in plastic - and the UN just watches” was a title of a feature in the German news magazine “Der Spiegel” of March 15th, 2019. I don’t think we can lay the blame entirely on political institutions as long as the can-making industry fails to do everything possible to inform the public - Starting with those in our own neighbourhood, like the teachers who educate our children.
The best way to save the planet for future generations might be to make sure, that our children are not being taught outdated information, but are armed with the knowledge required to make better decisions than our generation did.
I wrote a letter to the teacher and she promised to update her knowledge. Perhaps social media can help spread the discussion on this topic right now and help update the knowledge of neighbours, teachers and children worldwide.
Berchtesgaden, Bayern. As the CEO of TopCap Holding LLC and chairman of ADAC, Mr. Jungbeck held a presentation on mountain tourism and sustainability mobility. The presentation was concluded with a panel discussion with several renowned personalities in the fields of tourism and politics.
The forum mainly focused on the topics of sustainable tourism and future mobility. The panel consisted of Mr Jungbeck, Dr. Schuster from the BMW-Group, Mr Veit Bodenschatz, CEO of Bayrisches Oberland LCC and Mr. Manfred Pletzer, CEO of the Pletzer Group.
Mr. Jungbeck sees a lot of potential for all market operators in the sustainable approach to mobility.
„Perhaps certain modes of transportation, such as trains, will experience a rennaisance […] but one thing is highly probable: the car will maintain its place in the mix of transportation means. Cars might come with a different kind of engine and will serve as autonomous, self-operating transportation. A car will in most cases not be a possession, it'll be treated as a temporary tool“, according to Mr. Jungbeck's vision of future mobility.
The entire performance, including the panel discussion, was filmed by artdirection4u ADVERTISING LLC. After the conference, interviews were conducted with all panelists for closing remarks.
We would like to express our thanks to the UNWTO-Committee as well as Mr. Karlheinz Jungbeck for the very successful and professional cooperation.
The international Hahnenkamm race is one of the toughest, most thrilling and legendary downhill ski races worldwide. At the 79th edition of the challenging downhill event, numerous prominent figures from politics and sports, enjoy a relaxed get-together.
Saturday night after the race signals the beginning of just another social highlight in Kitzbühel: the famous Hahnenkamm-Gala, where the red carpet is rolled out yearly for the high-society of the skiing world.
Karlheinz Jungbeck, CEO of Top Cap Holding GmbH, Dr. Margarete Schramböck, Austrian Minister of Economy and Digitalisation, and Günther Platter, Governor of Tyrol, amongst others, joined the celebrations.
The „Kronen Zeitung“ releases an article, focusing on the continuous success of „the click cap“, which Gregor Piech and Karl-Heinz Jungbeck are celebrating on international levels. With a short outlook to future plans.
Attached is the full article in PDF. Only available in German.
The graphic and online department of the Tirol Kliniken created an online version of the popular and christmasy
Starting December 1st, 2018, you can find the calendar online via
If you would like to use this unique opportunity to support a project created for a good cause, using online communication (homepage, social media), please refer to the details below:
Online Advent Calendar (Daily Prices).
o Starts 01.12. 2018
§ With each click you can open a picture with a title, sponsor and link to the sponsor:
At the Canmaker Summit 2018 in Venice, Gregor A. Piech’s company Top Cap Holding was awarded the first prize in the Prototype category of The Can of the Year Awards for their innovative click cap.
The Gold Award was handed over to owner and CEO Gregor A. Piech at the Gala dinner in the Excelsior Hotel at the Lido, where every year the Golden Lions of the Venice Film Festival are awarded.
"This was the first award competition that Top Cap participated in and we are very moved by such a high level of recognition for our product. Over the last years I have seen our lid evolve from a mere concept to a working reality. Mr. Piech took a high risk investing in it, and the risk is now paying off. The whole Top Cap team, myself included, is very proud and happy that our efforts were recognized by an independent jury of industry experts."
The Prototype category is especially challenging as it includes all forms of innovation in metal packaging. Having talked to all global market leaders in the canmaking industry at the summit, and having started negotiations with several of them, it looks like the commercial future of the click cap is very exciting as well.