Tennessee moves to stop cities from banning plastic bags

Tennessee moves to stop cities from banning plastic bags
Tennessee is poised to become the latest state to ban local municipalities from regulating certain plastic bags and utensils

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.”