The problem of coffee capsules: they pollute too much
The problem of coffee capsules: they pollute too much

What goes through the minds of the administrators of Hamburg? Probably the ambition to become the model to follow, the German city more ecological of all.

To demonstrate that it does things seriously, at the beginning of February it adopted a strict self-regulation code that public administration offices are invited to follow for their purchases.

The document, together with other products rejected without appeal due to their impact, both in terms of costs and environmental sustainability from production to disposal, prohibits coffee capsules.

For about ten years now even Italians, often referred to as the most competent coffee drinkers in the world, have abdicated the capsule machine, the practical device we ask to quickly extract a cup of coffee from small rigid wrappers. in aluminum or plastic, covered with a paper filter.

It is no coincidence that K-cup pods and capsules (this is the technical name) have literally earthquake the coffee market. To put it in technical jargon, domestic consumption has shifted from traditional ground coffee to single doses.

The cold numbers: from 2011 to 2014 the number of families using the capsules practically doubled, from 1.5 to 2.6 million.

The result is that today also for us words like Volluto, Arpeggio, Indriya, Livanto, Ristretto, Roma - as the Nespresso capsules are called - are synonymous with coffee.

But more and more coffee capsules, which Nespresso first marketed in four flavors in 1986, are attracting criticism from environmentalists who consider them a real threat.

The problem is the correct disposal of these small packings.

Today Internazionale tells of how even the inventor of the K-Cup capsules has stopped using them, claiming to "feel guilty" about the environmental impact.

It is unclear how many capsules he produces each year Keurig, the main company in the K-cup market, but some estimates, with an effective metaphor, believe that the number would be enough to make 12 times around the world. Also for this reason, the American company is working to make all its capsules recyclable by 2020.

But in the meantime the Hamburg administrators felt it was better to ban them.

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