In today’s interview we get to know the startup A Top. We interview its Cofounder, Adriaan Verbeek.
What problem does your start-up address and what solution does it propose?
A TOP is always looking for solutions to packaging problems.
We are not only answering the what question but also the how question for customers.
We develop new packaging and technologies; know-how and intellectual property is licensed. We develop both generic as custom made packaging solutions for food, drinks and non-food.
At A TOP we have a strong knowledge of recycling and we make our own Life Cycle Analysis.
We are experts in paper, plastics, films and coatings; as well as in folding carton, injection moulding, thermoforming, molded fibre, printing technology and film extrusion.
A TOP operates independently, and we are not tied to a choice of materials
We are at the forefront of packaging solutions ready for the circular economy.
A TOP is looking for License Partners in Europe for the existing developed portfolio and for not yet developed solutions to packaging challenges.
How and why did you start this entrepreneurial adventure?
We started A TOP world’s greenest packaging about five years ago. A TOP develops the packaging solutions and associated technology and does not produce itself. This is a big advantage because we look for the best solution to a packaging problem without depending on a material choice. Started from the Netherlands with the licensing model, so we do not produce ourselves. From that basis, it is important to develop products together with customers and licensing partners, And then short communication lines and shortening the distance to the various production sites is essential. Once the products have found their way to the market, we could look for licensing partners in other countries and then two colleagues come into the picture.
A TOP wants to make a relevant contribution to making packaging more sustainable. Sustainability and circularity are of paramount importance. Together, we must change and replace plastic wherever possible.
As said before, A TOP answers not only the what but also the how question. It is the latter element in particular – the how question – that is lacking from consultants and that sets us apart. Another good thing is that the solutions are often patented, which makes them unique and therefore not easily copied.
How do you expect the sector to evolve? And what expectations do you have for your start-up?
The packaging sector will change dramatically in the coming years, and that is a good thing. It is a must for people and the environment. Packaging must become more sustainable in all areas and pollution must be stopped. Consumers want to contribute to this change. Governments and companies must not only say but also do. Thus, governments help with legislation. If a product doesn’t have to be packaged, don’t do it. Plastic is here to stay and that is a good thing, but many products are now packed in plastic although it is not necessary, despite the fact that alternative materials are plentiful such as paper, cardboard and pulp. These materials are also already largely recycled because consumers know the way.
For us as A TOP, there will be more demand for sustainable and circular packaging solutions. Again; not just the what question but the how question will come to dominate.
Any new developments in the near future that you would like to share with the rest of the start-ups?
Start-ups will more often have to answer the question: if a product has to be packaged, how to do it in the most sustainable way. The answer involves not choosing the easiest way, as adapting later is difficult and costly. Moreover, it is important to package it nicely so that the products remain the heroes, but don’t overdo it. A gift is unwrapped quickly and it is only a one-off.
In what areas would you like to collaborate with other start-ups, companies or other organisations?
A TOP develops material-independent packaging solutions for food, drinks and non-food.
All requests/inquiries are welcome. We are always looking for solutions to packaging problems. There is an expression in Dutch: you already have the no, you can get the yes. So nothing ventured, nothing gained. And there is value in having long-term experience in the packaging industry.
A TOP’s description: Link