In my last post I discussed the rising popularity of single use coffee pods and how they are transitioning towards being embedded in everyday practices of coffee drinkers.
Interestingly, Hamburg, Germany has just banned their usage in public offices. The city’s spokesman of the Department of the Environment and Energy, Jan Dube, described the reasoning behind the decision in a document (in German) detailing the cities sustainable procurement strategy:
“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.”
It is interesting to see this as a stance contrary to the rising popularity of the practice. I am curious how this ban will impact users home practices. Will we see a rise of alternative coffee brewing practices after users have grown accustomed to the value of customization in coffee pods. Could individual french presses stand as a more sustainable alternative ? This option has been around for a while but why has it not taken off as much as coffee pods or K- cups ? I hypothesize it is due to the materiality that is more complicated than the coffee pods as it requires this special cup that must be washed after every use and requires ground coffee. However, how is this different than the orignial requirements of standard coffee pot brewing ?