A country renowned for it's almost 150,000 homeless, stray and much loved canine population, the people of Istanbul knew something needed to be done to help these dogs lead a more nourished and thus healthier life.
The local councils were keen to round up the strays and move them on to a "happier place", but with the possibility of this meaning euthanasia, the residents were not convinced. Historically these dogs are part of the landscape to those who call Istanbul home and seen as protectors of the streets. Many have become famous with local identity status. Something needed to be done, then a company called Pugedon came up with an amazing idea.
The crazy notion of purchasing bottled water is a worldwide disaster with the resulting plastic waste, how to use it for good not evil?
The answer? Pugedon Smart Recycling Boxes. Located around the streets of Istanbul, these unique vending machines don't operate on cash but donated empty water bottles. When a bottle is placed in the box a serve of dog food is dispensed directly into the serving bowl at its base and the local dogs are lining up. Patrons, the human kind, can also empty their water into a water bowl before making their deposit providing a much-needed drink as well as a good meal. The dog food is completely paid for by the recycled water bottles.
This is such an innovative way to encourage recycling and a wonderful result for our four-legged ( and the not so lucky) friends.
Not all cities around the globe will have the same flexibility due to government restrictions etc for looking after their strays, but the concept could be applied in so many other areas. Different boxes could represent different charities. "X" number of bottles could equal a meal for someone in need - human or otherwise. The person depositing their bottle could hear an audio message telling them who their donation is helping or a screen could display with an update of the tally of bottles to date.
Let's hope that more progress can be made worldwide with this remarkable yet simple idea.