Styrofoam said to pose danger to Lake Tahoe

Published: Oct. 31, 2017 at 5:51 PM PDT
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A clean beach is what many expect and see when they visit Lake Tahoe, but even though it may not be littered with large pieces of trash, it's the "micro trash" that has environmentalists concerned.

So far in 2017, the League to Save Lake Tahoe has collected more than 2,000 pieces of expanded polystyrene, which is also known as styrofoam.

"When this gets into the lake or other waterways, it does release chemicals so it does hurt the ecosystem," Marilee Morivus, Community Engagement Manager at the League to Save Lake Tahoe, said.

The tiny pieces of "micro trash" break apart and end up in the lake, which can harm wildlife in the area as well.

Polystyrene is made from petroleum oil and is a single-use plastic. Movius said a ban on it would help eliminate a lot of the waste on the beaches of the lake.

South Lake Tahoe City Council is considering a ban on styrofoam.

"Not having them [styrofoam] available would also have less coming in to the environment and so we always support having less," Movius said.

The Council has asked for more input and information from local business and restaurants before they make a final decision. The next council meeting is scheduled for November 7.