In good news for animal lovers, a special vending machine has been set up in Ukraine’s Kyiv. But unlike other vending machines that cater to humans, this particular vending machine has been reinvented to provide food for street dogs and cats.
But the vending machine is not just a friend to stray animals but also the environment. For it is not just a vending machine but also a recycling machine. It uses donated plastic as currency to pay for the food.
How does it work? Humans bring their plastic waste such as bottles and other containers and deposit it with the machine.
The Yapomoga vending machine was founded by Rufat Raimov who said that the machine helps parents teach a younger generation the value of protecting the environment while also being kind to stray animals. "It is a real new way of life for children," Raimov tells Reuters.
"We have regular customers. They tell us, 'it is our ritual'," he adds. A kid collects bottles and comes up to his parents and says, "Let's go feed the animals, Ramirov says. "To raise a socially aware generation is our main advantage," Ramirov adds.
One bottle made of plastic can get an ounce of food for an animal, which means about 28 grams. Just a few bottles are enough to provide a decent meal to a stray cat or dog. When the machine is fed a plastic bottle, animal food collets in ittle bowls at the base of the machines. Hungry animals can themselves collect meals whenever they like.
As part of the initiative, nearly 300 pounds or over 136 kg of waste plastic was collected in just two weeks
According to the international animal platform Animal-id, there are about 50,000 stray animals on the streets of Ukraine. But activists and animal lovers feel the number is much higher. The new initiative not only allows many such strays in Kiev to get food but also allows residents to inculcate a culture of environmentalism and animal welfare.