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One corner of America got decidedly less beautiful on Independence Day.
The northern California lake, nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains close to the Nevada border, is one of the most popular places to spend the Independence Day holiday in the region, the report added.
Some people took to social media to disparage the flagrant littering.
“‘Patriotic’ Americans leaving behind thousands of pounds of trash for environmentalists to clean up is a perfect metaphor for our country’s future,” wrote Twitter user @davenewworld_2.
“If you don’t respect California, leave California. This is absolute selfish thoughtlessness,” said user @DanAmrich.
The League to Save Lake Tahoe, a local non-profit, has hosted an annual beach clean-up on 5 July since 2014 in coordination with some other groups. This year’s effort involved hundreds of volunteers, a few divers and a “beach-cleaning robot”.
The robot — called BEBOT — searches beach sand for small pieces of trash.
Some of the trash, like the little bits of plastic and cigarette butts found in the area, had presumably gathered over months. But at Zephyr Shoals, one popular site for holiday weekend revellers, the non-profit said that the beach was covered in 2,700 lbs (1,225 kg) of trash including iteems like shoes, towels, cans and beach chairs.
Plastic waste is a worldwide problem. At a United Nations summit earier this year, representatives from 175 countries agreed to create a binding treaty to address the scourge of plastic litter on land and in the water.
“The high and rapidly increasing levels of plastic pollution represent a serious environmental problem at a global scale, negatively impacting the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development,” the resolution states.