Japan’s Newest Vending Machine Uses Air to Cool Beverages

This beverage machine acts like a forest in the city.

Jun 6, 2023


Japan’s Newest Vending Machine Uses Air to Cool Beverages | This beverage machine acts like a forest in the city.

Anyone who has ever visited Japan knows that the country contains a vast array of vending machines that sell everything from soup, to fresh fruit, to even toys. There are actually more than 4 million machines in the country, according to JW.

Why are the machines so popular? That’s because Japanese vending machines have become a part of the culture where working hours are long and the machines provide a fast and inexpensive alternative. But now a new vending machine being developed by the Tokyo-based beverage company Asahi is developing a green machine that will clean the air around it.

Absorbing CO2 from the air
The new vending machine actually absorbs carbon dioxide from the air, reported the Japan Times, as it keeps the beverages inside cool or hot, depending on the machine. But this is not some sci-fi idea, Asahi will begin testing the machine in June, 2023.

The pilot is starting with 30 units that will be installed in the Kanto and Kansai regions (around Tokyo and Osaka)  and is a part of the company’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2050. Each machine will absorb 60 kilograms of CO2, or 20 percent of the emissions from the electricity it uses, company spokesperson Yoshiie Horii, told Japan Times.  

How do the new machines work?
The vending machines contain a special material that allows each machine to only absorb CO2 from the air, giving it a similar function to trees, according to an Asahi news release. In fact, the percentage of carbon dioxide being removed is the same as 20 Japanese cedar trees. Just without the pollen!

The new vending machines can be used indoors or outdoors, anywhere where CO2 concentrations are high. Removing the carbon does not affect the operation of the machines.

As an added bonus, the carbon dioxide that is absorbed by the vending machines will be used to make industrial materials that include fertilizer and concrete that will be used in building seaweed beds in the sea, therefore building a blue ecosystem.

Following the initial trial, Asahi plans a full roll-out of the machines in 2024. The company will continue to develop new materials with a higher CO2 absorption capacity with the goal of making completely carbon neutral vending machines.

This is an idea that can be utilized around the world to help countries stay on track for meeting their climate goals.

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.