Tennessee moves to stop cities from banning plastic bags

Posted at 9:34 PM, Mar 25, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee is poised to become the latest state to ban local municipalities from regulating certain plastic bags and utensils.

House lawmakers on Monday advanced a proposal making it illegal for local governments to impose bag bans, restrictions on Styrofoam containers and other disposable products.

The bill is being debated in the GOP-dominant statehouse as Memphis and Nashville - the state's most populous cities that also lean more liberal - have recently considered levying taxes against single-use plastic bags. The plastic bags industry has opposed such taxes, but state lawmakers have been more willing to pre-empt the local governments.

Minority Democratic members opposed the bill, arguing the General Assembly should not bypass local government decisions.

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