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Waste to value. Travel to Ukraine

Waste to value. Travel to Ukraine

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I have visited Ukraine at least once a year over the period of last three years. I must say that a lot of changes have occured since my last visit to Ukraine. Sufficient to say that Ukraine changed the government including the President of Ukraine. New Ukrainian government that came to power in 2019 brought into life a spirit of changes and reforms. While it would be very difficult to mention all spheres of Ukrainian society that has been reformed, I would like to mention only specific changes related to my specific interests. Since my visit had to do a lot with the sphere of environmental protection and ways to decrease the plastic pollution, I had a chance to visit several places in central Ukraine and had an opportunity to experience first-hand major development in this industry.

My Ukrainian colleagues organized for me three brief meetings with the representatives of the municipal local power at three provincial cities in central Ukraine.

First meeting happened to be in the city of Korysten’. Korysten’ is the city that has a population of XXX. It is a very ancient city that had a lot of clout and power many centuries ago which is famous nowadays among other things as the capital of “Deruny” (typical potato’s pancakes). It is a midsized provincial city that has been overshadowed by Ukrainian’s capital Kyiv in many respects. However, I have to admit that Korysten has at least two big pluses compared to the Ukrainian capital - traffic and people. If you are not familiar with the traffic situation in Kyiv, I can tell you that I have experienced traffic jams there that would be comparable to worst traffic jams and the slowest traffic in Chicago. While people are approachable and overall nice you can find a very snobbish and stuck up people that could be very pretentious (similar to those in NY or Washington DC).

So, as I mentioned, Korysten had no traffic at all and people there are so nice and genuine that this would be analogous to the situation in the Midwest of the United States. I must say that this attitude would be true for local government. For instance, we had a meeting with vice mayor of Korysten, Leonid Yakubovskij. When Mr. Yakubovsky learned about the fact that I am a founder and CEO of the innovative recycling start operation W2V Eco Solutions that has devised some original and proprietary IT solutions based on the use of blockchain, smart bin container, and cryptocurrency platform, he took a good notice of that and wanted to meet me as well as other members of our team that is working in Ukraine offering IT support and R&D capabilities. in person as well as learn about our concept and the start up. The underlying basis of our concept to change people’s attitude towards the plastic PET bottles by creating a better appreciation for the economic value of this recyclable product using an incentive system based on the various bonuses delivered to the users of smartphone apps in a totally entertaining manner. Among several know-hows of the W2V Eco Solutions Team in Ukraine was the idea of using a smart bin container that will be shredding the PET plastic used bottles sorting them by color within the bin itself. To make it more interesting and appealing for the younger population it was offered by our brainie CIT of the project to use bottle entrance to the bin in the form of a basketball ring. That idea was immediately liked and supported by Mr. Yakubovsky. More over he suggested that he could authorize a few local high and middle schools as a pilot testing grounds for our project. We both agreed that it would be extremely important to lay down a correct foundation and right attitude towards protecting the environment from the childhood and adolescence period. One of the most efficient ways of educating kids of different ages would be using the game approach - let them have fun by throwing bottles in the ring and they will change faster their attitude towards what is considered now as useless waste/garbage because besides just having fun they will be rewarded through the use of the bonus system delivered via their smartphone’s apps. That will ensure that they will not be throwing empty plastic bottles anywhere anymore. It was very refreshing that were on the same page with Vice-Mayor of Korysten, Mr. Yakubovsky on the same page. He was very proud that his city will become a pioneer and a launching pad for this new environmental protection movement in the entire Ukraine! Our team was happy to find a new ally in the form of a local government!