Tennessee CLEAN Announces Inaugural Members of Coalition to Address Litter Issues
Tennessee Wildlife Federation is working to solve the litter problem in our state through a sweeping public-private partnership effort called Tennessee CLEAN. The Federation announced today that 96 businesses, organizations and local governments have signed on as founding members of a coalition. It has also amassed more than 900 individual signatures for the Tennessee CLEAN petition to let Tennessee leaders at every level know that litter pollution must be addressed. Tennessee CLEAN is a chance to bring new ideas and solutions to the problem of litter.
“Litter is a significant threat to our state’s wildlife, agriculture, economy, and quality of life. The Federation, our coalition members and signatories believe the time has come to address litter in Tennessee in a comprehensive and effective manner,” said Kevin Botts, director of policy, Tennessee Wildlife Federation. “We are grateful to them, as they are paramount to Tennessee CLEAN’s success, and look forward to welcoming additional members to the Tennessee CLEAN Coalition.”
Litter pollution kills wildlife and pollutes scenic Tennessee. It costs Tennessee farmers an estimated $60 million a year. It suppresses home values, business investment, tourism and all the jobs they support. All while costing individuals, businesses and local and state governments tens of millions of dollars each year to clean up. Meanwhile, the demand for high-quality used plastic, glass, aluminum and paper products for manufacturing is real and growing with significant opportunities for the circular economy. We can recover these materials, grow jobs and support manufacturing operations with a strong, comprehensive effort.
Tennessee Wildlife Federation organizes support for litter initiative across Tennessee, seeks additional advocates
Tennessee Wildlife Federation continues to seek Tennessee CLEAN Coalition members to push for a process to address litter. Coalition members support the initiative through one or more of the following ways: advocate, communicate, volunteer and fund.
CLEAN stands for Cleaner Landscapes for the Economy, Agriculture and Nature. Via legislation, it will create a Tennessee CLEAN Commission, where diverse stakeholders will work together to develop solutions to achieve four policy goals on litter within the next four years:
- Create a program that recovers 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.
- Develop a program to reduce the use of single-use carryout bags, which are major polluters of our waters. These cause damage to the current recycling system and agriculture equipment as well as injure fish, wildlife and livestock.
- Develop and implement a statewide litter program that comprehensively addresses litter prevention and reduction to clean up Tennessee for this and future generations.
- Evaluate existing state laws and administrative rules related to litter and their effectiveness, and make recommendations to improve them.
A few of the current Tennessee CLEAN Coalition members include: Jackson Kayak and Jackson Kayak Foundation, Owens Corning, Patagonia and Strategic Materials.
For more information on Tennessee CLEAN, to join the Tennessee CLEAN Coalition or voice your support by signing the petition, please visit tennesseecleanact.org.