New 3D vending machines are eco-friendly and eye-catching
Wednesday 08 December 2010
Japanese Coke lovers will be able to buy soda from eco-friendly 3D vending machines starting in January 2011.
Coca-Cola's new high-tech design features sleek 3D displays, and are not just aesthetically appealing - vending machines are at the forefront of Japan's green movement, and the aim is for consumers to feel good about using the machines.
Anybody who has ever visited Japan knows of the country's fondness for vending machines - there are dedicated machines selling everything from Dole bananas to beer. Because of the popularity of this format, it's also become a platform for showcasing eco-friendly technologies, according to the consulting firm CScout Japan.
The "3D-Vis" vending machines employ mini solar panels, energy-saving LED lighting and a tracking function showing all the social contributions each machine's sales have made. Ozone and climate-friendly non-CFC refrigerators (instead of the refrigerant "Freon") and heat pumps are incorporated into the machines, which also offer many non-cash payment options. It was designed in partnership with BMW Group's DesignworksUSA.
Last June, the company announced that it would install about 1,500 Ecoru/Solar machines (2.4 million beverage dispensers) around the country, which are powered almost entirely by solar energy. The new design cut overhead costs, allowing the company to offer products at cheaper prices! The e-40 machine was launched in 2008 in partnership with Fuji Electric, and is able to use 40 percent less energy than other machines by using solar energy, as well as insulating by growing moss on its side.
The cola giant plans to install 75,000 of these new machines in 2011, and aims to replace all existing Coca-Cola vending machines in Japan with 3D-Vis units in by 2020. The company has made similar efforts in its home base - it announced in 2009 that 100 percent of its new vending machines and coolers installed across the US will be hydrofluorocarbon-free (HFC) by 2015, which will reduce greenhouse gas emission by 99 percent and energy consumption by 40 percent.
Dydo, a Japanese beverage brand, created talking vending machines in 2000. The newest machine was introduced in Okinawa in June and speaks regional dialect. The company also donates to forestries and other eco-friendly schemes from its vending machine earnings.
Also in June, the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group announced that it was replacing 60,000 of its vending machines and coolers with energy-efficient models in the US.
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