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.”