The Town of Portsmouth recently asked their citizens about their use and disposal of single-use plastic bags, how effective they thought a ban on single-use plastic bags would have on the environment and if they were supportive of the enactment of a ban on single-use plastic bags in the Town.

According to the Town of Portsmouth, 678 people responded to the survey that was available online and in hard copy at places around the Town. Of the 678, 105 were hard copy submissions.

Two-thirds of the respondents (66%) supported a ban on single-use bags in the Town.

Other data indicated that about half (47.5%) took reusable bags to the grocery store 75% of the time or more. When asked the same question for Non-Grocery stores, nearly half (47.9%) said they NEVER took their own bags to the store.

When asked about how they disposed of used bags, over half (57.7%) returned their bags to a re-cycle point, while one-fifth (19.2%) did not save bags for disposal at all and threw them in the regular trash.

The survey will provide a further piece of information to the Town Council when it deliberates on whether to enact a set of Town rules and regulations, similar to Newport and Middletown, that may include a ban on some single-use plastic bags

The Single-use Plastic Bag Survey is part of a larger campaign to engage and educate the public on environmental issues that affect the Town.  In addition to a Town-sponsored Plastics and Plastic Bag Workshop on November 9th, it has developed a Plastics and Plastic Bags informational page on its Town web site ( ) where complete results of the Single-use Plastic Bags Survey are available.  The Town also recently approved the incorporation of a “Pay-As-You-Throw” system at its Trash Transfer Station where special user-purchased bags are required for regular trash in an effort to increase the Town’s recycling rate by incentivizing the separating of recyclables (which would be collected free of charge) from regular trash.

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.