BUSINESS

Coffee Pods Banned In Hamburg, Germany. And Canadians Are Shunning Keurig.

03/01/2016 06:58 EST | Updated 03/02/2016 04:59 EST

People are waking up to the environmental dangers posed by single-serve coffee pods.

And Canadians, it appears, are among them.

The German city of Hamburg has banned single-use coffee pods from government buildings in an effort to curb waste, BBC News reported last month.

keurig pods

"These portion packs cause unnecessary resource consumption and waste generation, and often contain polluting aluminum," said a guide accompanying the new policy.

Hamburg is believed to be the first city to ban the pods.

The plastic containers fit in coffee machines that poke holes in the pods, fill them with water and serve coffee in cups placed beneath them.

keurig machine

A K-Cup coffee pack sits in a Keurig Green Mountain Inc. machine in this arranged photograph taken at a retail store in Princeton, Ill. on Feb. 3, 2015. (Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Keurig manufactures machines that do single-serve coffee using pods. The pods used in its machines are known as "K-Cups." (They are not sold in Germany.)

In 2014, Mother Jones reported that enough of the company's cups were produced the previous year to circle the equator 10.5 times.

News of Hamburg's ban came as Keurig's Canadian sales fell by 23.4 per cent in the past year, Global News reported.

One of the reasons cited for the drop was Canadian concern about waste.

However, Western University marketing professor Niraj Dawar says it's unlikely that jurisdictions in Canada would ban the containers altogether, Yahoo! Finance reported.

But he also said Keurig should be paying attention to consumers who think their products are wasteful.

A statement from Keurig Canada said that the company takes the recyclability of K-Cup pods "very seriously," and it has set a goal for itself to make 100 per cent of its pods recyclable by 2020.

The company has two kinds of pods made with polypropylene plastic, which is recyclable in many communities across Canada.

Its "K-Carafe" pods, which can be used in the Keurig 2.0 machine, can be recycled, and so are its BOLT pods.

UPDATE: March 2 -- This story has been updated after receiving a statement from Keurig Canada.

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