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German City of Hamburg Bans K-Cups

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German City of Hamburg Bans K-Cups

Government officials in Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, have banned the purchase of single-serve coffee pods with government money.

City officials say they are concerned about the environmental hazards of K-cups and similar coffee pods, Take Part reports. 

While there’s no denying K-cups are convenient the trouble is they “can’t be recycled easily because they are often made of a mixture of plastic and aluminium,” Jan Dube, a spokesperson for the Hamburg Department of the Environment and Energy, explained to BBC News.

The unique design of K-cups, which have a foil lid and thick plastic bottom, poses a challenge for recycling plants around the world because they don’t have machinery to separate the two and remove the coffee that sits at the bottom.

Hamburg city officials also banned bottled water and plastic cutlery. Dube says this should send a strong message to manufacturers: “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.”

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