Header Photo Credits: Mehtap von Stietencron 

As summer has been rediculously hot in Europe, so the only thing I feel able to do at the moment is sitting in my darkened living room. With a cold canned drink in the one hand and my smartphone in the other hand I stay there waiting until the heatwave is over.

Incapable of moving, I think about how I can contribute to environmental protection and counteract global warming at my very best, as it clearly already has consequences. I find myself staring at the can in my hand and realizing that I’m already on the right track. My mind wanders and I wonder if last year has already been such a scorcher. So I scroll through my endless gallery of holiday snaps and a picture series from Munich catches my eye. I start to remember a great recycling project starring crown corks.

Making Recycling Fun

Last September, I visited a friend in the Bavarian capital and no – we didn’t go for Oktoberfest. Instead, we chilled by the Isar because indeed we had really high temperatures back then. My finger sticks at a picture showing a huge crown cork installation at the Reichenbachbrücke.

Creative collective rehab republic set up the giant collection point inspired by a marble run for cigarette butts and crown corks left on the waterfront. Such micro waste is a serious problem for disposal companies as it’s extremely effortful to pick it up. This is why the creative collective had the idea to involve everyone hanging out on the bank. As a reward for collecting the cigarette butts, every smoker got a voucher for a pocket ashtray. But what happened with the crown corks, made of steel, was even more fun.


All collected crown corks were recycled when the campaign ended. Therefore they were brought to Lech-Stahlwerke who turned them into new steel. Packaging manufacturer HUBER Packaging uses steel sheets as material to produce 5 litre beer kegs. How cool is that! But the best is yet to come: Every collector posting a proof of their participation on social media (check out the hashtag on Instagram for some impressions) or sending it to the rehab republic team had the chance to win one of these kegs, filled with beer.

“We were really happy to support rehab republic with their extremely creative recycling project. In a funny yet memorable way, it illustrates how thoughtlessly discarded crown corks made from tinplate are perfectly suitable for endless recycling. Without compromising quality they can be incessantly used for fabricating new products made from steel, which, too, can be recycled over and over again, such as our 5 litre beer kegs”,

says Bernhard Kürschner, Head of Marketing and PR at HUBER. 

220 Litres of Beer

Of course, I was busy collecting during my stay in Munich, but I missed taking part in the raffle. What a pity! After all, there was a good chance for me to receive a prize. Guess how many crown corks were collected and how many beer kegs were produced? Unbelievable, but true: in just four weeks Munich nearly reached the 12.000 crown cork mark. This adds up to an equivalent of 44 kegs!

Quite a cool way to make a difference, isn’t it? Did you already come across other initiatives taking a playful approach to face environmental pollution and its negative side effects such as global warming?

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