The City of Newport has announced the launch of Newport Re-Uses, an initiative that will help coordinate, communicate, and create action around stewardship of the environment.
The City announced in a press release on Tuesday that they are committed to working together with residents, businesses, environmental groups, and volunteers to provide leadership in environmental health and sustainability for our city and island. The City’s first step in this initiative was the creation of the Plastic Bag Ordinance that eliminated the distribution of single-use plastic bags. This ordinance recognized that single-use plastic bags have greatly impacted our community by creating litter on our roadways, polluting the harbor, endangering wildlife, and adding unnecessary cost to waste management. The ordinance was passed on March 8th of this year, and enforcement begins on November 1st.
Since 2013, Clean Ocean Access, an environmental advocacy organization, has removed 11,766 of these bags from our shoreline. Used for an average of only 12 minutes, single-use plastic bags remain in the environment forever. In Rhode Island, the potential for plastics to contaminate and degrade the fishing industry could affect a $40 million industry.
Between now and November 1st, Newport Re-Uses will be engaging with residents, visitors, and businesses by providing educational materials and answering questions about this transition. “This single, small change will have a healthful, long term impact on our city’s environment,” says Councilor Lynn Ceglie in the press release, one of the three Councilors who have worked on developing the Newport Re-Uses campaign. “We are committed to making small changes as a community, so that together we make a big impact in creating the healthiest environment possible for ourselves, our neighbors and our children.”
To support the initiative, private funding was sought to produce 9,000 Newport Re-Uses reusable bags. These bags will be given out at various locations throughout the city over the next couple of months so residents can use them in place of plastic.
The community is invited to join officials on Friday, May 19th at 1:00 pm, as the Newport Re-Uses campaign will officially kickoff on the steps of the Colony House, Washington Square in Newport.
Speakers will be:
- Councilor Lynn Ceglie: Opening remarks; overview of Plastic Bag Ordinance and acknowledgement of participating commissions, boards and groups for initiative/development
- Planning Board Chair Kim Salerno: Overview of implementation and mission; acknowledgement of strategic partners; acknowledgement of Newport Re-Uses subcommittee
- Councilor Jamie Bova: Recognition, encouragement, and resources for businesses
- Councilor Susan Taylor: Community support, resources, and encouragement
- Dave McLaughlin, Clean Ocean Access: Newport as part of an Island-wide effort
- Q&A period (students to participate)
- Planning Board Vice Chair Melissa Pattavina: Emcee/Closing/Thank you
To find out more about the Newport Re-Uses initiative visit the website at www.newportreuses.com