In a unanimous vote Wednesday, the Newport City Council passed an ordinance that prohibits businesses from using or selling single-use plastic bags.
Newport ordinances are required to go through two rounds of votes to be adopted; the plastic bag ban faced no opposition in either voting rounds.
Vice chair of the council, Lynn Ceglie, said plastic bags block storm drains, cause problems with the wildlife, and break up into pieces that pollute the harbor. She said members of the community and city council think the ban addresses a significant contributor to ocean pollution and will help tackle the problem.
“And being one of the premier seaside towns, we think it’s important to make a statement and an impact,” said Ceglie after the vote.
Newport businesses have until November to comply.
Newport is the second Rhode Island community to implement a ban on plastic bags. Barrington passed its ban in 2012.