FPA questions Hamburg ban on disposable packaging in public buildings

The Foodservice Packaging Association has called Hamburg’s plan to ban coffee pods among other products from council buildings, ‘misguided’.


As part of a drive to reduce environmental waste, Germany’s second largest city introduced a ban on buying “certain polluting products or product components” with council money.

On coffee pods, the report states: “These portion packs cause unnecessary resource consumption and waste generation, and often contain polluting aluminium.”

More than £112m-worth of coffee pods, made from a mixture of plastic and aluminium, were sold in the UK in the last year and Nestle’s Nespresso is the most popular provider in Europe.

Referring to Nestle’s environmental credentials, FPA executive director Martin Kersh told Packaging News: “With regard to coffee pods no one can possibly doubt Nestle’s excellent environmental programme. They have made huge investments in over 30 countries to enable 80% of used pods to be recycled with the aim of 100%.

“Pods respond to a consumer demand for coffee prepared in this way and provided obligations to deal with used pods are in place then the proposed ban is simply wrong, totally unfair and completely misguided.”

Announced as part of a 150-page Guide to Green Procurement, the ban also includes bottled water and beer, chlorine-based cleaning products, air freshener, plastic plates and cutlery.

Commenting on the wider ban, Kersh added: “With regard to banning disposables in public buildings the proponents fail to take into account the additional carbon footprint of creating and delivering china and glass and the huge volumes of water and chemicals that are used to clean them.

“The whole point of life cycle assessments is to measure the environmental impact taking the whole process from creation to end of life into account not to cherry pick the parts that suit you.”

FPA executive director Martin Kersh

FPA executive director Martin Kersh