Taxis in South Tyneside are going green with new eco-friendly licence plates.
The borough's fleet of 550 vehicles - both Hackney carriage and private hire - are being fitted with the fully biodegradable plates.
The current plates are made from hard plastic but the new will be replaced every six months, in line with the licence renewal.
The new ‘Ecoplate’ is environmentally friendly as the polypropylene used is both photo and biodegradable and can be easily disposed of by using scissors or an office shredder.
The shredded material will then degrade naturally.
Coun Mark Walsh, lead member for housing and transport at South Tyneside Council, said: “I’m delighted that the council is able to provide these plates at no extra charge to licence holders.
“Taxis are an important part of the transport mix in the borough and measures such as this help create a cleaner, greener fleet.
“We’ve begun replacing the plates and we’ve had a really positive response from drivers."
He added: “This is about looking to the future and as a council, we are committed to creating a transport network that allows us to travel in a healthy, efficient and sustainable way.”
The new plates also have security holograms and expiry dates to match up with the licence duration.
Last week South Tyneside won a share of £500,000 funding for the region from the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ Taxi Fund.
The money will be used to install two rapid charging points solely for taxi use just outside South Shields town centre.
Coun Walsh added: “We’re delighted to have been successful in our funding bid.
“The charge points are going to be sited in a convenient, accessible location and will complement our existing infrastructure of charging facilities throughout South Tyneside.”