Following the success of asking Newport City Council to support a resolution that would phase out the use of single-use plastic bags, Clean Ocean Access and members of the community are now asking Middletown Town Council to do the same thing.

On July 18th, Clean Ocean Access  will request the Town of Middletown to pass a resolution instructing the administration to draft an ordinance for the elimination of single-use carryout check out bags.

“The City of Newport recently passed a similar resolution, so it makes good sense for the community of Aquidneck Island to develop and implement an island-wide ordinance in a uniform and consistent manner”, said an email from Clean Ocean Access on Wednesday night.

Clean Ocean Access  continues to work with the City of Newport to develop the ordinance to phase out the use of single-use plastic bags. If they can get an ordinance passed in Middletown, their next step is to seek council support in Portsmouth.

More than 100 municipalities across the nation have placed restrictions on the use of plastic bags in their communities, Barrington became the first community in Rhode Island to ban plastic bags on January 1st, 2013.

“Aquidneck Island is dependent on a healthy ocean, it makes sense that ocean health is a constant priority and we are a seen as a leader for environmental sustainability by reducing the amount of single-use plastics. The bag ordinance has a strong message of sustainability with a focus on reducing the amount of material consumed, rather than recycling. It is not a question of “paper or plastic”, it is a theme of “bring your own” with a focus on durable reusable bags,” said Clean Ocean Access in a “Ban The Bag” e-mail update.

Besides Clean Ocean Access’s efforts to “ban the bag”, they are also looking at ways to make it illegal to release balloons, looking at how to address the issue of straws litters our coastline and working to introduce a “leave no trace” requirement for all special events.

For more information on Clean Ocean Access, visit

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.