German city bans Single-Use Coffee Pods in Government Buildings

George Clooney I blame you! You vibe transmitting good-looking man made coffee pods sexy. And coffee pods may be convenient, but they stand for avoidable waste – tons of waste – as Nespresso alone sold 72 billion pods so far.


Pod machines are spreading all over the world. At home, in restaurants, hotels and in offices. The city of Hamburg has now banned their use in government buildings, which is a great step in the right direction. Maybe it raises the awareness among consumers and they opt for other machines to make coffee. And let’s be honest, coffee is not a hard thing to do.

Nespresso is not a bad company per se. They are one of the leading fair coffee producers and pay premium wages. But with their clever marketing and George Clooney’s help they made pods sexy. On Nespresso’s homepage you can see a video about their recycling program, but I wonder how many make use of the collection points or send the pods back via UPS. Numbers can not be found. And even if so, this recycling process is an unnecessary use of energy and recourses.

But it’s not only Nespresso. Coffe pod machine sales have been going up since their introduction and have overtaken the sales numbers of drip coffee machines in 2012.


Drip Coffee vs Pod Coffee Machines sales. Source


Surprisingly the new law includes more than just pods:

Mandatory green guidelines now prohibit taxpayers’ money from being spent on nonrefillable plastic bottles, plastic cutlery, plates and cups, chlorine-based cleaning products, air freshener and patio heaters.

Hopefully more laws will follow and a more environmental friendly mind set will slowly crawl into peoples awareness. The entire NPR article can be found here:

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