IN this, the last in a series of articles on climate change and looming environmental catastrophe, we look at what everyone can do to help stop it in its tracks.

Earlier this year, Hexham Community Partnership launched Hexham Clean & Green to co-ordinate the town’s contribution, encouraging both businesses and individuals to get on board.

One target already achieved is the registration as a Refill Town, in which a significant number of businesses across the town have agreed to fill up people’s reusable water bottles. Just look out for the stickers in their windows.

The partnership’s communications officer, Rachel Ladd, said: “We want to create a new social norm for refilling on the go – saving us money, keeping us hydrated, encouraging visitors to go into our lovely local businesses and preventing the production of millions of single-use plastic bottles at source.”

That goes straight to the heart of another of the Clean & Green campaigns, to free Hexham of single-use plastics.

The team is now working with Emily Herold, who was appointed by the charity Surfers Against Sewage as the plastic-free community leader in Hexham.

A steering group with representatives from schools, businesses, community groups and the town council has been assembled, and a campaign to persuade businesses to commit to removing at least three single-use plastics from their work environment is already under way.

Details of their progress goes up on the Hexham Clean & Green Facebook page, hashtagged #hexhamcleanandgreen and #plasticfreecommunities.

Both Small World Cafe, in the Market Place, and Molly Moo’s cafe and ice cream parlour in Cattle Market, have changed their takeaway packaging to Vegware and its line of plant fibre, 100 per cent compostable products. That includes the straws and the cutlery, and the napkins are fully compostable too.

Small World proprietor Angela Wilson said: “Our milkshake and smoothie cups are made from recycled plastic and are recyclable as well, and we recycle as much cardboard and plastic in the cafe as we can.”

Molly Moo’s co-owner Roy Castle said while its milkshake and hot drink cups, plates and jacket potato boxes came from Vegware, its straws, ice cream spoons and takeaway cutlery came from Nisbets.

“There are plenty of options out there if you Google,” he said. “But you have to make sure you order in plenty of time as compostable products are often out of stock.”

Tyne Valley Ices, the Hexhamshire business with ice cream vans, is also very supportive of the campaign too.

It has switched to cardboard ice cream tubs and paper pick-and-mix sweets bags.

Dillies flowers, chocolate and wine shop on Market Street, meanwhile, has introduced an eco-vase made of cardboard and designed to hold bouquets without the use of cellophane.

And Matthias Winter, on Hallstile Bank, is working in partnership with recycling company Terracycle to deal with plastic food packaging that can’t be recycled elsewhere.

People can drop off their crisp packets, cracker boxes and sweet biscuit and cake wrappers at the shop.

They can also join in with the Clean & Green plastic-free campaign by doing a simple audit of how much single-use plastic they use and then choose alternatives.