Phasing out plastic bags and straws, Nashville is joining a growing movement to reduce plastic waste.
If you order a drink at Henley Nashville in Midtown it will come with a conversation piece.
“We have bamboo straws, we have stainless steel, and we have silicone,” said General Manager of Henley Nashville James Garrido.
You won’t find any plastic.
“This isn’t a change we made when Starbucks made it cool; we’ve been doing this from the beginning,” Garrido said.
Henley Nashville does this so they’re not adding to the eight million metric tons of plastic that ends up in the ocean every year, and it saves the business money.
“We don’t have any plastic straws, we don’t use paper coasters, we don’t use beverage napkins, and we don’t use disposable bags,” Garrido said. "In such a burgeoning environment as Nashville is, it's vital to be ahead of the curve and lead on issues like this."
The city as a whole is joining the growing movement to reduce plastic waste. Metro council just voted unanimously on a resolution that requests grocery stores in Davidson County reduce plastic bag use.
“It’s just a simple ask,” Councilwoman and sponsor of the resolution Davette Blalock said. “We want the grocers to get back with us and let us know how they are going to lessen their plastic bag use.”
That's something many are already trying to do.
“When the grocery store asks you, ‘do you want your milk in a bag?’ they’re asking because they are trying to give you the opportunity to not take a bag,” president of the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association Rob Ikard said.
Plastic bags are the fifth most common single-use plastic, with 100 billion disposed of each year, and less than five percent of them recycled, according to Kroger. The grocery chain plans to phase out single-use plastic bags by 2025.
“In a years time the single use bags in our industry will look a lot different than it does today,” Ikard said.