Tennessee CLEAN

Tennessee CLEAN


It’s time to fix litter pollution in Tennessee once and for all.

Slide Litter is more than unattractive. It negatively and measurably impacts Tennessee’s economy, agriculture, and nature. There are people doing good work every day to clean up our state. Millions have been spent on anti-litter campaigns and hundreds of millions have been spent to pick it up. But the problem is so much bigger than the tools we have. That’s obvious on every interstate and neighborhood street—in every field and stream.

We should do better. We can do better.

Litter by the numbers

Slide $15 MILLION Tennessee taxpayers pay each year to pick up litter 100 MILLION pieces of litter estimated to be on Tennessee's roadways 78,700 TONS of plastic bags thrown out in Tennessee each year 32 MILLION pieces of microplastics the Tennessee River dumps into the Ohio River every second

Let’s face it. The impacts of litter are way more than an eyesore along roadsides and riverbanks. It’s time for a comprehensive approach to address the huge scope, scale, and intricacies of litter pollution in Tennessee.

Enough trash talk.
What can we do about it?

Introducing the Tennessee CLEAN Act

What does CLEAN stand for?
Cleaner Landscapes for the Economy, Agriculture, and Nature

Tennessee CLEAN Act (HB0174/SB0152) is about new ideas and proven solutions to the problem of litter pollution while expanding the state’s already effective but under-resourced, programs. To get this done we need a unified approach that:

  • incentivizes litter prevention in a tangible way
  • supports manufacturing in Tennessee and beyond by providing the raw materials they need
  • reduces costs litter creates for farmers, businesses, and local governments
  • removes litter that is polluting water and habitats

Join us in making a cleaner Tennessee a reality Photo credit: Josh Tullock Take action

How the Act works

The Act creates a Tennessee CLEAN Commission made up of representatives—from community leadership, agriculture, retail, manufacturing, and more—so a meaningful solution can be created that works for everyone.

It also sets three goals for the Commission to reach within three years. #Accountability

The Commission must:

  1. Create a program that incentivizes Tennesseans to return at least 85 percent of certain plastic, glass, and aluminum containers to be recycled into raw materials that are valuable to our economy, rather than thrown out the window.
  2. Develop a program to reduce use of single-use carryout bags, which are a major polluter of our waters, cause damage to the current recycling system and agriculture equipment, and injure fish, wildlife, and livestock.
  3. Develop and implement a statewide litter program that comprehensively addresses litter prevention and reduction to clean up Tennessee for this and future generations.

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