At the January 22 Newport City Council meeting, the Council heard a report from the Newport Chapter of Surfrider Foundation requesting consideration of an ordinance that would restrict the use of single-use, plastic, carryout bags. Newport city manager Spencer Nebel worked with staff to draft a model ordinance for Council’s review. In summary, the draft ordinance prohibits distribution of single-use, plastic, carryout bags and discourages use of paper bags as a substitute for reusable bags.
The ordinance also has a provision that requires a pass-through cost of not less than $.05 per recyclable paper bag, and provides that if a retail establishment makes a reusable bag available to the customer, a charge of not less than $.50 per reusable bag be assessed. City manager Nebel explained the process he recommended if the council was happy with the draft ordinance to proceed with a public hearing on March 4, then move forward in adopting the ordinance after continued public input.
The council agreed that they would like more public input from Newport citizens. The majority of the people who spoke to the council were from other areas from the county who stated they shop in Newport and wanted the city to approve the bag ban ordinance. Councilor Allen continued to remind the council that this issue was voted on by the citizens and advocated for referral again to the voters. The council approved a motion to hold a public hearing on the draft ordinance at their March 4 meeting.