Japanese company introduces self-cleaning tableware as a solution to combat global water shortages

New tableware needs just a quick rinse with water, making it kind on the environment and your pocket

2023.06.16
By Ayaka Sagasaki
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J-STORIES - Amid worsening global water shortages and supply issues, one Japanese company has come up with an ingenious way to save water: tableware that all but cleans itself.
A special coating on the Meliordesign brand kitchenware means that grease and other stains can be rinsed off with just a splash of water, doing away with the need for detergent. 
The Meliordesign crocery range saves time, money and water.     Source: DG Takano
The brand was launched in May by Tokyo-based DG Takano, a company with a mission to “save water around the world.” Back in 2009, DG Takano released the Bubble90, a faucet with a special bubble-producing nozzle that can reduce water use by up to 95 percent. By sending a stream of bullet-like water beads, the device enables effective cleaning with minimal water use, helping users save money. Since its release it has become popular with restaurants and other businesses that consume large volumes of mains water.
Even the most stubborn stains can be removed with just water.     Source: DG Takano
CEO Masaaki Takano told J-Stories that his company had already done all it could with faucets. "So, we thought about what we could do to save even more water and shifted our focus from the things that do the washing to the things that are washed.” 
Even stubborn lipstick stains can be removed with a quick rinse.     Source: DG Takano
Even stubborn lipstick stains can be removed with a quick rinse.     Source: DG Takano
The development process took five years. But during a demonstration at a press conference to mark the launch of the first two plates and two bowls to use the technology, the audience was amazed to see chili oil and lipstick instantly rise to the surface and be washed away with just a quick rinse.
Even the most stubborn stains can be removed with just water. Source: DG Takano
Because the kitchenware’s surface has been modified with a special nanotechnology process, water can penetrate the space between the dish and anything stuck to it, easily lifting stubborn stains like oil or lipstick. As detergent is unnecessary, it helps reduce water pollution, and even bacteria is removed.
Unlike dishwashers, which require installation, regular maintenance, and money to run, the kitchenware enables easy washing with just a little water. CEO Takano told J-Stories that the time to wash a single dish can be reduced from around one minute to one second.
The company sells a starter set of plates and bowls for ¥13,800.     Source: DG Takano
The company sells a starter set of plates and bowls for ¥13,800.     Source: DG Takano
Since May the company has been selling a “Meliorkitchen” set of plates and bowls on its website and intends to expand the range to table knives and forks, chef’s knives, cutting boards, and other products. It also hopes to collaborate with international brands that focus on environmental and social issues.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has warned that 5 billion people worldwide will face water shortages by 2050, making the development of water-saving products a pressing issue.
Takano believes his company’s kitchenware has the potential to change the world in a similar way to iconic products such as the Walkman or iPhone.
“We believe that this is a socially important product that is directly related to solving problems of water shortage and water pollution,” he said.
Bubble90 Extreme Water-Saving Nozzle | 95% Less Water & Faster Cleaning | Japanese Technology     Source: DG Takano
Translation by Tony McNicol
Top page photo by DG Takano
For inquiries about this article, please contact jstories@pacficbridge.jp

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Click here for the Japanese version of the article.

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