The European Vending Association is publishing its position paper on HFC gases. Following a regulation, which bans the use of these gases in the automobile industry, the vending industry has decided to take a step forward on this issue.
In Europe there are 4.6 million snacks and bottled drinks vending machines and Point-of-use, which are the machines that use a cooling unit. These machines are operated by HFC gas R-134a and will probably continue to be in use in the market until approximately 2030, according to the usual life cycle of a vending machine.
Apart from a few tests conducted over the years, there is not a single manufacturer that produces vending machines that use CO2 in Europe. Besides, if manufacturers started to produce machines that used CO2, the size of the machines would increase considerably for the simple reason that extra room would be necessary to allow the instalment of a refrigeration system to cool the compressor where the CO2 would be stored in the machine. Currently, with the R-134a gas there is no such need.
The consequences of an increase in machine size are threefold. The first issue would be waste treatment, which would increase proportionally according to the size of the machine, given that vending machines are regulated under the WEEE Directive. This in turn would increase the machines energy consumption. And thirdly, incorporating CO2 into a vending machine would require the machine to be redesigned, and therefore cost efficiency would not be optimal.
The European Vending Association would like to state that the vending industry is committed to the environment. Furthermore, the industry would not be opposed to adopting the use of alternative refrigerants, in future, provided they remained safe, as well as economically and environmentally viable.
For further information contact Rozenn Maréchal, the EVA’s Head of Marketing and Strategy Planning at firstname.lastname@example.org