May 29, 2019

One woman, 70 beach cleans, 7,200km of cycling and a whole heap of plastic

Words by First Mile

Last year Kiko Matthews became the fastest solo female to row the Atlantic. During her 49 day journey, Kiko was shocked and saddened by the sheer amount of plastic she encountered. This inspired her to act and embark on her next adventure - the Kik-Plastic Challenge.

We catch up with Kiko as she continues on her impressive mission to clean Britain’s beaches and build a community against plastic.

22 beach cleans down and 1,648km cycled, this is what she had to say...

So what has been the most challenging aspect of Kik-Plastic so far?

Logistics has been the most challenging aspect; coordinating beach cleans, sorting accommodation and route planning. And of course the big hills and long days!



What is the weirdest thing you have found on the beach clean so far?

Not too many weird finds. Sanitary products, BBQs, dog poo bags.

Not particularly glamorous then! What item do you come across most?

Cigarette butts, cable ties and fishing lines.

That’s interesting, not to mention depressing. Can you explain what you’re using the RecycleBoxes for at each beach clean?

Yes! At every beach clean we’re putting a random sample of the rubbish we collect into a RecycleBox, labeling it and sending it back to First Mile’s RecycleLab for data analysis. It wouldn’t be environmentally friendly to send back all our waste, so we aim for two boxes per beach clean.

And finally what’s been the best moment so far?

So many things! Great views, great people, meeting kind and supportive communities, and seeing them come together for an important issue is hugely inspiring. It makes finishing some of the big days really rewarding and gives a sense of purpose to the cycle.

Thanks Kiko and good luck with the next part of the Kik-Plastic Challenge!

Want to take part in a beach clean? Find out more here.

By First Mile

Easy. Smart.
Green.

You're two steps away from a cheaper, greener recycling service.

Please enter a vaild UK postcode