Last summer, Monica Arienzo, an assistant professor of hydrology at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno, discovered microplastics in the water of Lake Tahoe and snow of the nearby Sierra. The problem with microplastics she learned, they’re everywhere.
“Everywhere we’ve looked, we’ve identified microplastics. Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that are about the size of a pencil eraser and smaller. So we look down to a size of about a bacteria cell size,” Arienzo said in a phone interview. “And we’ve been finding these pretty much everywhere we look.”