Matt defies sharks with a lotta bottle

Todmorden's Matt Nichol will paddle the flimsy raft for a charity mission
Todmorden's Matt Nichol will paddle the flimsy raft for a charity mission

A charity volunteer from Todmorden has set sail on a raft made of plastic bottles to raise awareness of recycling.

Matt Nichol, a graphic designer, has joined a crew of volunteers from the charity AWF – the Atlantic Whale Foundation – taking to the Atlantic on the flimsy inflatable.

The team will be taking it in turns ro paddle the 27 miles from Tenerife, in the Canaries, to La Gomera, in shark-infested waters.

It’s part of a project called the Plastic Marathon – rasing awareness about the ease and importance of recycling.

Matt, who grew up in Todmorden, joined the AWF volunteer programme based in Tenerife in January after finishing his degree in graphics and illustration at Coventry University. He said: “Since joining the AWF, I have been inspired and humbled by those around me. Following the example of those around me this is helping me to reach my potential and make a name for myself in the industry that I love.” The charity wants to draw attention to the 40 million plastic water bottles that are dumped in landfill sites every day.

The mission - part of National Climate Week this week - also aims to raise funds for the AWF’s Plant a Tree, Fund a Dream campaign, which provides education for children in Africa who have succeeded in planting and caring for trees to rebuild African forests.

Follow the crew at http://the