17 March 2016

Hamburg bans environmentally damaging coffee capsules from public buildings

Hamburg (Germany) is making city employees’ morning coffee more sustainable by banning the use of coffee-pods in state run buildings. The city has taken the decision on the basis that the capsules cause unnecessary resource consumption and often contain polluting aluminum. The composition of the capsules also makes them next to impossible to recycle in traditional recycling plants.

The ban on purchasing coffee capsules was included in the city’s green procurement strategy, which ensures that the city avoids buying “certain polluting products or product components". The use of a separate container for each shot of coffee leads to the generation of a significant amount of waste, which the city aims to alleviate through the ban.

Jens Kerstan, Hamburg’s senator for the environment, has told the BBC that through the ban Hamburg is sending a signal that its money will only be used for environmentally friendly products: "With a purchasing power of several hundred millions of euros per annum, the city can help ensure that environmentally harmful products are purchased less frequently."

For more information, visit BBC news.