In Kyiv, you can feed stray animals by recycling

A Ukrainian entrepreneur has come up with a unique way of feeding stray cats and dogs... by using recycled plastic bottles as currency to buy them food.

Installed in one of Kyiv's residential areas at the end of October, the reimagined vending machine has collected almost 320,000 pounds of recyclables within the first two weeks, according to the project founder Rufat Raimov.

“A lot of people come here, but mainly over the weekends after they collect plastic bottles during the weekdays. You can see it yourself that families come here during the weekends. Parents give a bag to kids and kids puts bottles into a machine one by one. Over the weekends, machine attracts a lot of people. In a workday, we collect 2-3 bags of bottles while over the weekend day we collect at least six bags."

He’s proud that the initiative helps to tackle two problems in the capital - recycling plastic waste and nourishing stray animals.

One plastic bottle equals 20 grams of food dispersed by the machine onto a pet bowl. Another bowl placed near can also be filled with water by any customer.

"We have regular customers. They tell us: "It is our ritual." A kid collects bottles and then comes up to parents saying: "Let's go and feed animals." To raise a socially responsible generation is our main advantage."

Raimov has already teamed up with a Ukrainian charity for the initiative and hopes to expand the project by installing more machines in Ukraine - as well as new ones placed indoors.

Video Transcript

- A Ukrainian entrepreneur has come up with a unique way of feeding stray cats and dogs by using recycled plastic bottles as currency to buy them food. Installed in one of Kyiv's residential areas at the end of October, the reimagined vending machine has collected almost 320,000 pounds of recyclables within the first two weeks, according to the project founder Rufat Raimov.

RUFAT RAIMOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: A lot of people come here, but mainly over the weekends after they collect plastic bottles during the week. You can see it yourself that families come here during the weekends. Parents give kids a bag. And they put their bottles into the machine one by one. On weekends, the machine attracts a lot of people. On a workday, we collect two to three bags of bottles, while on a weekend day, we collect at least six bags.

- He's proud that the initiative helped to tackle two problems in the capital, recycling plastic waste and nourishing stray animals. One plastic bottle equals 20 grams of food dispensed by the machine onto a pet bowl. Another bowl placed near could also be filled with water by any customer.

RUFAT RAIMOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: We have regular customers. They tell us, it's our ritual. A kid collects bottles and then comes up to their parents, saying, let's go and feed the animals. To raise this socially responsible generations is our main aim.

- Raimov has already teamed up with a Ukrainian charity for the initiative and hopes to expand the project by installing more machines in Ukraine, as well as new ones placed indoors.