(Bloomberg) -- One of Japan’s leading drinks makers is planning an unorthodox way to cut its carbon emissions, utilizing a ubiquitous device in the nation: the vending machine.

The soft drinks arm of Tokyo-based Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. said it plans to test out new machine next month containing a material that “absorbs carbon dioxide” as it sucks in air to cool or warm the drinks inside.

Described by the company as a potential “forest in the city,” the machines, which are being patented, will contain a white powder-like material made from various calcium minerals, which, once it has absorbed a certain amount of CO2 will then be used for industrial purposes, such as making fertilizer and algal sea beds.

The experiment, which will begin with about 30 units installed in the Kanto and Kansai regions, is part of an effort by the firm to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Each machine is expected to absorb approximately 60 kilograms (132 pounds) of carbon dioxide — or 20% of the carbon emissions it produces — each year, according to company spokesperson Yoshiie Horii.

The company plans a broader replacement program for its 260,000 current machines by 2024, though Horii said a specific target for the total number of units to be rolled out has yet to be set. “The vending machine market is shrinking year by year and the market environment is difficult,” he said.

Japan has some 4 million vending machines — down from over 5 million a decade ago — which are used to dispense everything from toys to caviar. Beverage machines make up just over half the market, according to the Japan Vending System Manufacturers Association.

While vendors have reduced the machines’ carbon footprint by over 60% in the last two decades, according to association data, their 24-hour operations mean they continue to use significant amounts of power. 

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