Single-use coffee pods are among the most insidious products to ever enter the global supply chain, and now one German city is taking huge strides to get rid of them. Hamburg’s Department of the Environment and Energy announced that the second largest city in the country has banned single use coffee pods in all state-run buildings to help reduce waste.
“These portion packs cause unnecessary resource consumption and waste generation, and often contain polluting aluminium,” Jan Dube from the Hamburg Department of the Environment and Energy told press over the weekend, according to Science Alert.
“The capsules can’t be recycled easily because they are often made of a mixture of plastic and aluminium. It’s 6 grams of coffee in 3 grams of packaging. We in Hamburg thought that these shouldn’t be bought with taxpayers’ money.”
Science Alert claims sales of single-serve coffee devices have soared in both Western Europe and the United States since 2011. In 2013, consumers in Western Europe reportedly purchased more pod-machines than drop-coffee makers.
Keurig sold approximately 9.8 billion portion packs in 2014. Only 5 percent of them were recyclable. Strides are being taken to produce a more sustainable product, but in the meantime, company founder John Sylvan admits inventing the K-cup was maybe not his greatest idea.
“No matter what they say about recycling, those things will never be recyclable,” Sylvan told The Atlantic. “I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it.”
Via Science Alert