It is amazing the lengths firms will go to in order to persuade us to buy unnecessary products.
If you don't count fresh produce being stored on a polystyrene tray (hey folks - styrene is carcinogenic - I would not eat or drink anything that has touched it) then possibly my most hated products are coffee pods.
Single-use, very difficult to recycle and actually a stupid idea in the first place too. Although it might be because he should have made a lot more money from it than he did, the inventor of the K-cup coffee pod has now said "I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it."
So far, Nespresso has sold an estimated 28 billion coffee pods worldwide - a horrific amount of material that, quite frankly, did not need to be consumed.
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My colleagues and I are veritable coffee fiends. We receive a kilo of beans each week, delivered by bicycle by Eighthirty. I reckon that if you grind the beans on the spot and make it fresh, it is the best coffee in Auckland.
We actually refill the bags that the coffee comes in and the whole system creates very little waste and a very delicious brew. We even take coffee sacks which we are using to create a living wall (if anyone out there has some more - please let me know!).
The simple fact is that coffee pods use already-ground coffee, meaning that it is not as fresh. They are also an environmental disaster. So how have they become so successful?
This is another classic story of a massive investment in marketing using a hypocritical celebrity. Of course housewives around the world rush to buy coffee pods if that's what George Clooney is drinking. Just like stupid kids used to get hooked on cigarettes, irresponsible parents get hooked on disposable nappies and so many of us get hooked on booze: marketing makes the people buy, whether it is a quality product or not.
What we have to understand is that our fast paced, throwaway lifestyle is for one, not healthy and for two, impacting the ability for future generations to enjoy the environment that we have been lucky to grow up in.
Some respite comes in the compostable version of the pod that is now available, but still, to me it seems like an unnecessary use of energy and materials having a separate package for each cup. I think we should all stop being so lazy, grind our own coffee, and learn to wash dishes again, but what do you think?