An effort to overturn a plastic bag ban in Newport has come up short. It means the city’s ordinance will take effect in July as planned.
Newport’s ban resembles many others around the state: Single-use plastic bags can’t be given to customers at the checkout stand. People in the coastal community voted against such a ban in 2013, but the city council approved it again this April following a renewed effort by advocates.
Opponents of the ban tried to force another vote, but they said this week that their volunteers weren't able to collect enough signatures before the deadline to qualify for the ballot.
That was welcome news to retired schoolteacher Consuelo Kammerer, who helped lead the effort to get the bag ban in place. “It feels great," she said. "And kind of a relief.” Kammerer said she was inspired to act after living in Hawaii for a few years and seeing the impact of a plastic bag ban there.
The Newport ordinance kicks in July 1st for large stores, and next January for smaller ones. Meanwhile, a bill that would ban single-use plastic checkout bags statewide is working its way through the Oregon legislature. It passed the House 42-18 in April, but has yet to receive a vote in the Senate.