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Newport, Rhode Island Bans Plastic Bags
Plastic is versatile- lightweight, flexible, moisture resistant, strong and relatively inexpensive. These attractive qualities have led humans around the world to become dependent on the material. Our attraction to plastic, coupled with an undeniable behavioral tendency of increasingly over-consuming, littering and polluting, has become a combination of lethal nature.
In an effort to save the environment, countries and states around the globe are banning the popular use of plastic bags. Most recently, the City Council of Newport, RI voted unanimously on March 8, 2017 to approve a city ordinance that states “no business establishment shall make available any single-use plastic carryout bags, either complementary or for a fee, for any sales transaction or other use to members of the public.”
This vote was the second and final vote giving approval to the ban, which will be enforced beginning November 1, 2017. On the night of the unanimous vote, City hall was packed with spectators who loudly applauded when the news was announced.
Newport has followed the lead of Barrington, which passed its ban back in 2012 and then enacted amendments in 2015 to close loopholes. Additionally, there are active initiatives in Middletown and Portsmouth to also pass bans, which would eliminate the use of single-use plastic bags throughout Aquidneck Island.
According to the definition of the ordinance, people will be encouraged to use reusable bags “specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse. Any handles must be stitched and not heat fused. The bag must be made of washable cloth, other durable woven or nonwoven fabric, or durable plastic with a minimum thickness of 4 mils.”
As an eco-friendly yacht charter company, Nicholson Yachts proudly supports the ban of single-use plastic bags and any plastic aboard our chartered yachts. In addition to plastic bags, plastic water bottles have become a detrimental issue. “Nicholson Yachts discourages single use water bottles on board our charter yachts and also discourages the use of micro plastics in bath gels, facial scrubs, etc. due to their direct impact on marine life. Modern yachts provide their own abundant and excellent quality desalinated, purified and filtered tap water.”
Each year, millions of sea animals die because of the plastic pollution that inundate their environment. Animals easily get stuck in plastic rings, choke and or swallow plastic debris, and inherit life-threatening diseases as a result from the plastic pollution. According to a study conducted by scientific working group at UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our ocean each year. That is equivalent to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world. Imagine all of the sea animals who encounter plastic pollution throughout their environment. How will you make a difference?