An automatic food machine called the MamaMatik, developed by a Turkish company will help feed stray animals in the country while also collecting recyclable material, according to the company's chairman.
Mehmet Akay said the curfew imposed by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus has left stray animals in difficulty when it comes to finding food in a society that is known for regularly feeding street animals. The company behind the machine, Pugedon introduced the vending machine back in 2014.
Earlier reports this year that stray animals were left to starve and some pets were abandoned as the crisis deepened in the country, prompting the Interior Ministry to call upon local councils to ensure that food is left at designated locations on a regular basis.
However, the MamaMatik, which primarily functions to collect recyclable waste has been developed to meet the nutritional needs of stray animals.
🐱🐶❄️ Kışın sokak hayvanlarının imdadına 'mamamatik' yetişecek
Sokakta, su ve yiyecek bulmakta zorlanan hayvanlar için geliştirilen otomat, atılan her atık karşılığında mama vererek sokaktaki can dostların beslenmesine katkı sağlıyor https://t.co/cim2zmokKt pic.twitter.com/eZnqo0Zcm4
— ANADOLU AJANSI (@anadoluajansi) November 3, 2020
"While doing this work, we thought of contributing to the nutrition and water needs of our dear friends on the street. Our main purpose here was to engrain an environmental awareness and love for animals, especially among our youth and children. We believe that we have achieved this with the MamaMatik," said Akay.
"Plastic, glass and metal boxes thrown into the MamaMatik are turned into water and food for our dear friends," he added.
Akay said the company has so far installed 55 machines in Istanbul and 20 in other provinces, allowing stray animals to be fed very easily. The animals on the street have reportedly started to recognise the machines already and can be seen near the machines when they get thirsty and hungry.
He acknowledges that waste imports are a serious problem in Turkey and was quoted by Anadolu Agency as saying: "It takes hundreds of years for a plastic bottle to disappear in nature and also causes major pollution problems in the environment. Instead of throwing those plastics into nature, we throw them into machines and recycle them." He added that the goal is to install machines all over Turkey, contributing to recycling and feeding animals.
A report by Politico in September described Turkey as "Europe's garbage dump" which has exacerbated the country's already existing waste pollution problem. Last year, Turkey took in 11.4 million tonnes of waste from EU countries, three times more than in 2004. There have been plans for the government to introduce new legislation "to prevent the import of high amounts of waste", according to Environment Minister Murat Kurum.