As reported by South Tahoe Now, the South Lake Tahoe City Council voted unanimously to start the process to implement a three-tier ban of Styrofoam (Polystyrene) in the city limits at its February 6 meeting.
Following the path of over one hundred cities and counties in California, South Lake Tahoe will ban single-use Polystyrene used for take-out foods, and ban retail sales of foam coolers and single-use food containers at all retail stores. The third tier voted on is already a part of special event regulations – all containers used must be compostable.
The items can still be brought from out-of-town but they will not be available for purchase in South Lake Tahoe.
The other tier of a ban the Council chose not to support at this time was a ban of products using Polystyrene on items packaged outside of the City but sold at local stores, such as egg cartons and fresh meat trays. There are new products being developed that will not made out of Styrofoam, but they are not available at this time.
With summer not too far away the Council wanted to get the new ordinance passed before outdoor crowds flock to the beaches and outdoor space. According to the League to Save Lake Tahoe, the 182 miles of shoreline ,they cleaned over the past two years had 22752 pounds of litter removed, with over 5,000 foam pieces included.
“It’s a serious problem to Lake Tahoe and we’re seeing more and more plastic on our beaches,” said Marilee Movius, the League’s Community Engagement Manager. “The League will help educate people on alternatives. The City sets the expectations and you can be a role model for other communities while protecting this national treasure.”
Part of the ordinance will be for food service locations to only provide straws upon request.
The vote was on the first-reading of the ordinance. On February 20 the Council will take a final vote on the second-reading.