Thursday, November 24, 2016

Freiburg's Coup With a Cup

Coffee to go has spilled over the Atlantic with the result that one-way paper cups are littering (vermüllen) German cities. While in the States many customers of coffee shops take their personal permanent mugs along thus avoiding the pollution of the environment in Germany this is rarely the case.

Nevertheless, President Obama was seen on his latest and last visit* to Berlin with a presidential paper cup.
*He said he would like to come back as a private person to visit the Munich Oktoberfest

On another occasion: President Obama stepping off the plane is
greeting the Marines with a latte in a presidential paper cup
while Michelle is possibly appalled (©CNN).
You will not find this collector's item in the street.

The presidential paper cup (©The Paepae)
The City of Freiburg decided to reduce the volume of garbage caused by paper coffee cups and introduced the Freiburg Cup, a plastic cup with an one euro deposit that you may return to any coffee shop participating in the program. These cups are washed and may be reused 400 times except for the cap that for hygienic reasons still ends up in the waste. This Achilles heel has already given rise to critics. Another point of moaning concerns the one size only uttered by people who like to drink lattes by the liter.

Freiburg Cups (©BZ/Rita Eggstein)
Overall Freiburg brought off a big coup. The success is overwhelming. The 5000 cups initially ordered disappeared in one day not into the landscape but as a collector's item. Freiburg's environmental mayor immediately ordered another 10,000 cups with many more coffee shops going to introduce the Cup in Freiburg.

With all the publicity municipal officials are sure that other German cities will follow Freiburg's example soon. When shall we see the Federal Cup not to be confused with the Federation Cup?

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