Tennessee bill to stop local plastic bag bans heads to governor


A spokesperson for Governor Bill Lee says he will sign a bill prohibiting local governments from banning things like plastic bags.

On Thursday, the Tennessee Senate agreed with a House version of the so-called “plastic bag bill.”

It would prohibit local governments from banning plastic bags, containers and the like.

Supporters say they just want standardized rules or ordinances in municipalities across the state instead of a patchwork where one county may ban plastic items and another county would not.

The supporters said that creates an unnecessary expense that ultimately costs the customer. 

So-called big box stores like Kroger, along with the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association, brought the bill to lawmakers.

A spokesperson for the group said California had a patchwork of local laws about plastics and containers before settling on statewide laws.

As Governor Lee’s office said he would sign the bill, stores like Kroger are already showcasing their elimination of plastic bags with to re-usable ones by 2025.

Democratic Sen. Raumesh Akbari criticized the GOP majority for trying to override the decision-making of local governments.

Eleven other states — including Idaho, Florida, and Wisconsin — have already enacted similar so-called “bans on bans.”

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