TYNEDALE is tightening its grip on tackling climate change with organisations and businesses now more concious than ever on how they can save the planet.

Two years ago, David Attenborough and the Blue Planet 2 TV series opened the world’s eyes as to how the human race is destroying the planet. Since then, climate action has become almost a byword in day-to-day life with increasing pressures to make a change.

In line with the approaches taken by the UK Government and Northumberland County Council, Hexham Town Council has recognised there is a climate emergency.

At its September meeting, the council agreed its resolution which will see it aim to be carbon neutral by 2030.

The council said it recognises it had a significant role to play in maximising its contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, both in reducing its own carbon footprint and promoting and facilitating wider behaviour change through its local leadership.

It added it had an influencing role in encouraging other organisations and individuals to work towards sustainable outcomes in Hexham.

Zyka restaurant on Priestpopple, in Hexham, was bucking the trend by encouraging customers to return used aluminium food trays to the restaurant to collect their food.

Customers were encouraged to return their clean trays in a named bag before they placed an order in person.

The idea stemmed from one customer’s request, but the restaurant has now opened it up to all customers between Sunday and Thursday.

Rashid Miah, from the restaurant, said: “Hopefully we can get more people involved with this.

“At the moment, we’re using the packaging materials that are available and cheapest to us, but I would be interested to see what others are doing.”

Matthias Winter, on Hallstile Bank, in Hexham, prioritises selling eco-friendly and sustainable products.

Alison Smith, who opened the shop last year, said: “We reuse as much packaging as we can. We’ve got a refill service here so people can bring back empty bottles and containers, while also using paper bags. I am trying to buy things that are British-made and support charities in everything I purchase.”

Alison has seen also an increase in customers promoting more climate-friendly living. “I think people are feeling guilty about the climate now and realise there’s significant action to be taken,” she said.

Small World Cafe, in Hexham Market Place, has changed its 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. Angela Wilson, manager at Small World, 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.”

Tynedale business FOSH was encouraging people to ditch plastic bottles and instead opt for reusable and eco-friendly stainless steel bottles.

Aiming for plastic free status was just one of the targets of the newly formed climate action committees dedicated to tackling climate change throughout Tynedale.

A committee spearheaded by Allendale Parish Council will be made up of local businesses, schools and organisations to prioritise carbon storage whilst reducing carbon emissions. Villagers from Riding Mill have also explored how they can make their village climate friendly.