Dear City of Knoxville, TN,

July 3, 2018

City of Knoxville
Mayor’s Office
Attn: Mayor Rogero
400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

Dear Mayor Rogero,

In June 2018, The National Geographic Magazine published extensive reporting of plastic pollution in our oceans.  If you have not read the articles, I urge you to do so.  Our marine animals are simply drowning in plastic.  Birds have been pictured covered in plastic.  Turtles have been pictured caught in plastic nets. There is a much-watched video of marine biologists pulling a plastic straw out of a sea turtle’s nose.  Birds are eating micro-plastics and feeding their babies micro-plastics.  I hope you will agree with me that we need to do something to save our oceans and the lives that depend on the oceans.

We hear a lot about climate change and the need to do something about it before it is too late. I am not so sure I am able to help much. I cannot afford solar panels on my home. I do not have a wind turbine.  I do not own a hybrid or electric vehicle and I have to drive to just about every place I go.  But, I believe that we can do something today about the abundance of plastics in our oceans.  Some scientists “See ocean plastics as a looming catastrophe, worth mentioning in the same breath as climate change,” (NGM, 2018).

Regarding the City of Knoxville, do you have any plans to become a single-use plastic-free community? Whole Foods and Trader Joes do not use single-use plastic bags to bag groceries.  How can we help Kroger, Food City, and Publix stop using single-use plastic bags to bag groceries as well?  Several communities and California have already banned plastic grocery bags and straws.  Is it possible for our community to be next on that list?

I am looking forward to starting a conversation about how The City of Knoxville can help save marine lives and habitats.


Coleen Martinez

2plastic-waste-single-use-worldwide-consumption-animals-2.adapt.1900.1          plastic-waste-single-use-worldwide-consumption-animals-4.adapt.590.1                                                                                                                           Video of sea turtle with straw stuck in nose:

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