REUSING and recycling will be at the heart of Teesside under Labour, the mayoral candidate has said.

It is the pledge of Jessie Joe Jacobs, Tees Valley mayoral candidate in May's election.

She has outlined a £2m 'Re-Use Tees Valley' scheme to incentivise reuse, recycling and green schemes to cut out waste and promote sustainable shopping.

"From furniture to food we will see a shift away from consume and dispose to create and reuse in a new green Tees," she said, "across the UK a million tonnes of food are sent to landfill sites every year. That is a drain on our environment but also a missed opportunity to mitigate food poverty.

"I will get behind projects such as Hartlepool Food Network, who reduce food waste and provide food for social activities and I would ensure similar schemes are supported and scaled up across our five boroughs."

This weekend Ms Jacobs visited Cut Back in Saltburn, the newly opened first zero waste store on the Tees Valley, promoting alternatives to single use plastic.

The shop, launched by Tracy Reeve, sells sustainable cleaning, personal care and kitchen essentials with customers bringing their own containers.

Ms Jacobs said: "Cutting waste of all kinds is incredibly important to me and as Tees Valley Mayor, I will ensure we support projects and ideas like these to reduce our plastic waste.

"The owner has worked so hard to turn her dream into a reality and these are the kind of projects that need support to be a success and to inspire others to tackle waste.

"The Re-use scheme will be a catalyst to support innovative projects and to deliver technologies that will enable us to recycle and reuse on an industrial scale."