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Earth Day

Planet vs. Plastics

Plastics are taking a toll on our planet. Across the globe plastic pollution is a growing threat to the environment, biodiversity, and human health.

Here in the Valley region millions of plastic items annually make their way into lakes, rivers and other water sources, blemishing landscapes and harming plants and wildlife.

At TVA we’re committed to protecting these valuable water sources through various efforts like water monitoring, bank stabilization and, of course, ongoing cleanups. 


Discover the Dangers of Plastic Consumption and How You Can Help

Two women carrying a trash bag near Norris

How can you protect the planet?

  • Carry a reusable bag while shopping.
  • Ditch single-use plastics like water bottles and carry-out utensils.
  • Recycle whenever possible.
  • Minimize your impact on the land and Leave No Trace when you camp.
  • Volunteer to protect our natural resources or archaeological sites.

Two children at Mizzell Bluff Trail

How do plastics harm?

  • They break down into microplastics and release toxic chemicals into water, soil, and food sources.
  • Some of these chemicals have been linked to serious health issues like insulin resistance and cancer.
  • They damage ecosystems and diminish biodiversity.

 A girl picking up plastic bottles and cleaning the environment

How much plastic do we consume?

  • 500 billion plastic bags produced worldwide in 2023.
  • 100 billion plastic beverage containers were sold in the U.S. last year.
  • 380 million tons of plastic are produced yearly.

2024 Wrap Up

Earth Day 2024 was a big win for our piece of the planet here in the Valley region. With 16 events, 5,350 participants and 32,000 pounds of trash and debris removed during river cleanups, we’d call that a success. Shout out to our numerous partners who organized or supported these activities and who help us protect the planet every day.

Partners included Trees Knoxville, Middle Tennessee Electric, Keep Knoxville Beautiful, Keep Blount Beautiful, Guntersville State Park, New Johnsonville State Park, City of Chattanooga, NASA, Redstone Arsenal, Boone Lake Association, Lake Nottely Improvement Association, Norris Dam State Park, and Outshine Adventures. 


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