Raley’s working with Tahoe organizations and UC Davis to reduce plastic waste

Raley's in Incline Village is selling Drink Tahoe Tap reusable water bottles.
Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 11:05 AM PDT|Updated: Jul. 2, 2020 at 3:23 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Tahoe organizations, UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC), and Raley’s in Incline Village started a partnership to help reduce plastic waste. Raley’s is selling Drink Tahoe Tap reusable water bottles. The goal is to encourage its customers to fill the bottles at Drink Tahoe Tap stations throughout the Tahoe Basin.

Raley’s Team Lead Frankie Sanchez said he’s seen an influx of visitors in Tahoe. “Almost every customer I see that comes through my line has a pack of water bottles, and I am trying to tell them often, hey we have the best tap water in the world, you don’t necessarily need to be buying that.”

Sanchez added, “It’s awesome to finally have this program in motion. I am excited as an employee and as someone who lives in Tahoe, who wants to keep the beaches clean.”

Assistant Store Team Leader, Jason Principe said, “Raley’s is committed to changing the way the world eats one plate at a time.” Principe added, “With the Drink Tahoe Tap campaign we are now changing the way people hydrate, one bottle at a time.”

Recent research from TERC has shown that microplastics were present at every beach tested around the lake. “It is incredible to have a partner like Raley’s who puts the environment and our community ahead of their own profits,” said Heather Segale with TERC. “We hope that other local grocery stores will be interested in joining the effort to promote reusable water bottle sales as an alternative to single-use plastics.”

The Drink Tahoe Tap initiative was designed to reduce the use of single-use plastics and increase accessibility to drinking water filling stations throughout the region.

Officials with the Tahoe Water Suppliers Association and Take Care Tahoe said plastic waste is a concern in Tahoe. Executive Director of the Tahoe Water Suppliers Association, Madonna Dunbar said, “Unfortunately plastic pollution is prevalent in Tahoe research is showing that most of it is coming from plain litter.”

Dunbar continued, “It is coming in the form of bottles and cans, especially plastic. Plastic is the problem because it doesn’t ever go away, and just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces, then becomes microplastics.”

“Those are the materials that we are getting more concerned about being in the soil and in the environment.”

Amy Berry CEO of Tahoe Fund, a Take Care Tahoe partner said the partnership couldn’t have come at a better time. “A lot of people come to Tahoe and they don’t realize how wonderful our water is here and they think they have to buy plastic water bottles.”

She added, “We are seeing so many people in Tahoe right now more than we have ever seen this time of year, I think it because of the pandemic, people can’t really fly to go on vacation and its so easy to drive to Tahoe and its so beautiful here.”

Officials encouraging people to drink Tahoe tap water to help reduce plastic waste.
Officials encouraging people to drink Tahoe tap water to help reduce plastic waste.(None)

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