Coke Vending Machines Help Endangered Birds

A partnership between a non-profit and the world’s largest beverage company is coming to the aid of endangered birds in an unusual way. Coca-Cola Japan, Okinawa Coca-Cola Bottling Co. and the NPO Conservation & Animal Welfare Trust are working together to help the Okinawa Rail, Gallirallus okinawae.

Listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, it is estimated this highly-vocal bird has an estimated population of 717. Loss of habitat, predators including cats and dogs and vehicle collisions all threaten the endangered bird.  The Okinawa Rail has been on the decline since 1982.

Special equipment has been installed on two vending machines in order to help the endangered bird as part of the Okinawa Rail Ecological Survey Project.  Red recording devices and black microphones installed on the top of the machines in a conservation reserve will capture the sounds made by the birds.  The collected data will be analyzed and will help provide important information to help calculate the population and activities of the Okinawa Rail.

The equipment was added to the top of the machines, minimizing installation costs.  According to a report by CScout, the survey, which began in May, will continue for one year. 

According to the Coca-Cola Sustainability Report of 2010, the company launched its solar vending machines earlier in March.   The top of the machine is fitted with a solar panel.  Other features include a HFC-free heat pump waste heat recovery system, vacuum installation and LED display linked to motion sensors.  The company’s goal is to install more than 1,500 solar machines in Japan by the end of this year. 

Other eco-conscious efforts by the beverage company include its fully recyclable PlantBottle and the use of recycled PET materials in uniforms and collection boxes.

Photo courtesy of  WJMcBride

As a full-time freelance writer, Jace is the Internet Feature Writer for Suite101 and is the Holidays and Working Moms Examiner for She is a regular contributor for Energy Boom, EcoWorldly and PlanetSave. She particularly enjoys writing about unusual and downright wacky environmental stories and issues plaguing wildlife and animals.Besides writing, Jace is also passionate about online safety and issues concerning children. As an Internet Safety educator, she teaches online safety and technology to 600 elementary-aged children every week for her local school district.Jace has two children who are both in college and is also mom to a slew of pets. Feel free to contact her with story leads or just drop her a note at