Daily Archives: February 23, 2016

A warning shot across Keurig’s unrecyclable bow

Here’s an interesting tidbit from across the pond. Citing environmental concerns, the city of Hamburg, Germany has banned Keurig-style coffee pods from all government office buildings.

Lest you think, “Oh, isn’t that cute?” bear in mind that Hamburg has a population of 1.7 million people. It’s the second biggest city in Germany, and the eighth largest in the European Union.

As part of a guide to green procurement, the German city of Hamburg last month introduced a ban on buying “certain polluting products or product components” with council money. The ban includes specific terms for “equipment for hot drinks in which portion packaging is used” – specifically singling out the “Kaffeekapselmaschine”, or coffee capsule machine, which accounts for one in eight coffees sold in Germany.

“These portion packs cause unnecessary resource consumption and waste generation, and often contain polluting aluminum,” the report says.

This isn’t a Big Deal, not yet; but it is a Deal, and it ought to be causing a bit of concern at Keurig Green Mountain’s Waterbury headquarters. Because if Hamburg becomes a trendsetter, Keurig could start seeing large markets snap shut.

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The VPR Poll: Everything You Know Is Wrong

Previously in this space, I looked at The VPR Poll’s reading of the race for governor. To encapsulate: Phil Scott has a huge early lead, Bruce Lisman’s in the crapper, and the two Democratic candidates are still trying to build identities with a largely uninvolved electorate.

The poll is an important snapshot of the race — really, our first since last fall, when the field was still a work in progress. But even more interesting are the issues results, which campaign builders ought to be examining closely. Because the message, as Firesign Theater once put it, is

Everything You Know Is Wrong

Well, maybe not everything, but a whole lot of things.

Issues that are supposed to be driving forces in 2016? Eh, the voters don’t much care.

Positions that could make or break a campaign? Over and over again, The People fail to conform to conventional wisdom.

Darn people!

Generally, the poll depicts a populace that’s more or less okay with how things are going and not especially engaged in politics. This, despite an ongoing barrage of doom-and-glooming by Republicans and certain interest groups.

Examples: A broad desire to stay the course or go even further on health care reform; widespread acceptance of large-scale renewables; strong endorsement of Vermont’s efforts on climate change; healthy support for the state’s school consolidation efforts; and huge majorities in favor of modest gun-control measures.

After the jump: the details.

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Warning! Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!

The Phil Scott campaign is reacting to the very positive results of the VPR Poll in a rather curious way: With a hysterical email blast warning of dirty political tricks.

By an unnamed rival campaign.

That haven’t happened yet.


Here’s the letter:

We need your help!

A new poll from Vermont Public Radio and Castleton University Polling Institute shows strong support for Phil’s positive message and clear priorities.

Now we are already hearing from several sources that one of Phil’s opponents is planning to go negative! 

Can you help us ensure the focus stays on the issues that matter, like growing our economy and making Vermont more affordable?

With your support, we will run a positive, issue-oriented campaign that focuses on why Phil is the best and most qualified choice for Vermont. 

(Italics in the original letter.)

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