Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

This City Just Banned Single Use Coffee Pods: Will Others Follow?

Food
This City Just Banned Single Use Coffee Pods: Will Others Follow?

The city of Hamburg, Germany has banned single use coffee pods in state-run buildings as part of an initiative to reduce waste.

The BBC reported:

"As part of a guide to green procurement, the German city of Hamburg last month introduced a ban on buying 'certain polluting products or product components' with council money. The ban includes specific terms for 'equipment for hot drinks in which portion packaging is used'—specifically singling out the 'Kaffeekapselmaschine,' or coffee capsule machine, which accounts for one in eight coffees sold in Germany.

'These portion packs cause unnecessary resource consumption and waste generation, and often contain polluting aluminium,' the report says. 'The capsules can't be recycled easily because they are often made of a mixture of plastic and aluminium,' adds Jan Dube, spokesman of the Hamburg Department of the Environment and Energy."

Amid growing concern over the environmental impact of these single use pods, manufacturers have responded by making their product recyclable. One manufacturer, Nespresso, claims it has 14,000 pod pickup locations in 31 countries, capable of processing 80 percent of all the capsules they make, but they did not tell the BBC how many of their pods are actually recycled.

And worrying about recycling them is missing the point, Piotr Barczak, waste policy officer at the European Environmental Bureau, said: "The point with coffee pods isn't about recycling—it's about cutting down on the amount of stuff that we need to throw away or recycle."

"Recycling should be the last resort when tackling waste, not the immediate solution," he added.

And as Martin Bourque, director of the Ecology Center in Berkeley, told the East Bay Express:

"We can get to a cup of coffee dozens of different ways. The best way is a large volume of coffee that goes into a cup that's washed and re-used a thousand times, and the coffee goes to compost or mushroom production. That's best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is these pods."

Many in the environmental community feel the same way. Even the inventor of the popular Keurig K-Cup, John Sylvan, admitted last year he regrets making the product, saying "I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it.”

One filmmaker Mike Hachey started a website Kill the K-Cup to track the activities of Keurig Green Mountain and made a short, mock-horror film about K-Cups. Watch here:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Solar-Powered Vacuum Could Suck Up 24,000 Tons of Ocean Plastic Every Year

Baby Dolphin Dies After Being Passed Around by Tourists Taking Selfies

NASA: 4 Billion People at Risk as ‘Water Table Dropping All Over the World’

Gruesome Tumors on Sea Turtles Linked to Climate Change and Pollution

An Edith's Checkerspot butterfly in Los Padres National Forest in Southern California. Patricia Marroquin / Moment / Getty Images

Butterflies across the U.S. West are disappearing, and now researchers say the climate crisis is largely to blame.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A wildfire burns in the Hollywood hills on July 19, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AaronP / Bauer-Griffin / GC Images

California faces another "critically dry year" according to state officials, and a destructive wildfire season looms on its horizon. But in a state that welcomes innovation, water efficacy approaches and drought management could replenish California, increasingly threatened by the climate's new extremes.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Wisdom is seen with her chick in Feb. 2021 at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Jon Brack / Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge / Flickr / CC 2.0

Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.

Read More Show Less
Wind turbines in Norway. piola66 / E+ / Getty Images

By Hui Hu

Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.

Read More Show Less
Jaffa Port in Israel. theDOCK innovated the Israeli maritime space and kickstarted a boom in new technologies. Pixabay

While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.

Read More Show Less