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.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).