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

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 - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

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 ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.