German city bans single-use coffee pods

Coffee pods — those little plastic single-serve coffee containers you pop into, for example, a Keurig — have been partially banned in the German city Hamburg. The ban covers single-use coffee pods, which are used once and then thrown away, rather than reusable coffee pods, which can be manually refilled with coffee grounds and essentially function as tiny coffee filters. The move was made out of environmental concern.

Single-use coffee pods have raised ample concerns from environmentalists and green-conscious individuals everywhere. The pods often aren't — and can't be — recycled, meaning they're tossed in the trash to end up in a landfill somewhere. Those who use coffee pods exclusively are thusly contributing one pod of waste per cup of coffee, which would amount to seven or more a week per person.

This reality has led to a growing backlash against the coffee pods, with organizations and individuals encouraging users to instead use more environmentally friendly options that produce less waste, such as a regular drip coffee maker or something with a built-in filter like a french press. Recycle-friendly coffee pods are also an option, but are available in a limited fashion.

Now the city of Hamburg in Germany has banned the use of single-use coffee pods in government buildings, citing environmental damage and the ample amounts of waste they produce. Those who still insist on using coffee pods will have to use the reusable kind.

A Hamburg Department of the Environment and Energy spokesperson said:

These portion packs cause unnecessary resource consumption and waste generation, and often contain polluting aluminum,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.

The amount of waste produced has caused the K-Pod creator's to express remorse over his creation. The coffee pods became increasingly popular in both the US and parts of Europe over the past few years — despite tasting relatively terrible compared to just about any other brewing method, many are attracted to the convenience of popping in a pod and pressing a button, no clean up later on being necessary.

VIA: Digital Journal