Single-use one-cup pods are brilliant, just think, your own individual shot of coffee, choose it, use it and then throw it away, what could be better.
Well, there’s the problem, which is taxing not only the environment but the very notion of just one use and then you throw it away, which is causing people and the planet the most anguish. So fighting this wasteful mentality from now on – all government offices in the German city of Hamburg from now on are saying “Nein” to coffee pods. That’s right, work for the civil service in Hamburg and you’ll not find a single coffee pod to help you stay awake during the morning accounts meeting or the sales revenue figures audit.
Coffee itself is not banned, of course, no one sometime soon is going to make a statement like that, but the pods – even if they were to be disposed of in the recycling bin – they are off the menu for now in Hamburg and there are strong rumours that other German cities like Cologne, Berlin, and Dusseldorf are watching closely and may be about to follow suit. Is it a good thing, yes it is. Its all part of stopping us from just using something momentarily, stop us from being such a throw-away culture and looking after the planet’s resources.
Even the guy who invented and initially marketed the coffee pod, John Sylvan, has said the pods are out of control and are like the ciggie butts of the coffee world (now that’s got to really hurt!) It’s a fact that if you lined up every coffee pod ever used next to one another, it would form a line that wraps around the planet nearly 11 times.
There is a terra-cycle firm in the U.S. which specialises in recycling the pods which deem to be difficult to recycle and it has ripped off the aluminium lids and managed to do little else with the remaining pod. So why has no one managed to come up with a biodegradable pod? One team in Canada is working on it but for something to be biodegradable it must degrade naturally 100 percent, otherwise, it’s no good at all.
It’s estimated that people in Germany drink 1.43 cups of coffee per day
One firm, Nespresso sells around 28 billion of the coffee pods worldwide. Then you have government offices and firms around the globe who’ve invested in coffee pod machines for those needing a morning pick me up. Drip filter coffee has the worst impact on the environment, but on the other side of the coin, an instant coffee cup has the least impact. With the rise of the coffee shop and the demise of the local pub in the UK, it doesn’t look like this dilemma is going to go away anytime soon.