Tennessee Legislature proposes single-use plastic bag ban

A study shows the Tennessee River is one of the most plastic polluted rivers in the world.

Posted: Feb 17, 2020 5:31 PM
Updated: Feb 17, 2020 9:35 PM

The Tennessee legislature proposed a single-use plastic bag ban for the first time. 

One of the reasons is a new study shows the Tennessee River is one of the most plastic-polluted rivers in the world.

WAAY 31 spoke with people in Ardmore, Tenn., and they're aware of plastic pollution and think the ban would benefit the environment.

"I think it would be a good thing for the environment but we sure do use a lot of them here," says Jeremy Jarrett, who lives in Ardmore.

Janice Britton lives in Lincoln County, Tenn. She tells WAAY 31, "I think it would be a good thing. It's a good start".

The statewide bill would implement a single-use plastic ban, encouraging people to use re-usable thick plastic bags or paper.

"It had to start somewhere because a lot of the bags just get thrown out or get blown away," says Britton.

If passed, Tennessee would be the ninth state to enact this law. But people like Janice Britton tell us it wouldn't be hard to adjust. That's because she already reuses her bags to help the environment.

"I think we could benefit from it because it seems like there's too many plastics going into the ocean and a lot of them are plastic bags and in nature," says Britton.

Although some may think the switch in bags could be an inconvenience, people think otherwise.

"If we had something to replace them with you know that would be an ideal thing. Maybe the customers would bring in cloth bags or something like that," says Jarrett.

A senator from Knoxville wrote the bill with help from Kroger and Publix grocery stores.

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