The city of South Lake Tahoe is moving forward with a polystyrene ban.
At Tuesday’s meeting, City Council directed staff to draft an ordinance that bans the use of polystyrene takeout food containers at restaurants as well as the sale of foam coolers and single-use food containers at retail stores. These changes would bolster the existing city policy, which prohibits the use of polystyrene at special events.
Additionally, the proposed ordinance would limit the use of straws and plastic utensils at restaurants to an “on request” basis.
Commonly referred to by the brand name Styrofoam, polystyrene is a cheap, durable and light synthetic material. Environmentalists have long criticized polystyrene for its lengthy lifetime in landfills and its breakability, which results in small pieces finding their way into the environment and the stomachs of wildlife.
Marilee Movius, community engagement manager for The League to Save Lake Tahoe, told council the organization’s volunteers clean thousands of pieces of polystyrene off of beaches every year.