• Used gloves and masks are starting to litter American streets
  • Many are getting concerned over their health and safety
  • Health experts stated these items can become agents in spreading coronavirus

Many streets in America are starting to be littered with gloves and masks as Americans wear them as protection against COVID-19. The problem is many of these things are being discarded by the curb, becoming common street trash.

To make matters worse, health experts say that PPE litter pose more hazards compared to regular garbage as it can become agents in spreading the deadly coronavirus. According to reports, the issue has become so extensive that local law enforcement has started taking a stance against such practice, with agencies encouraging residents to dispose of them properly.

coronavirus mask litter the streets causing authorities to react
coronavirus mask litter the streets causing authorities to react Jasmin Sessler - Pixabay

Doing The Right Lawful Thing

In a Facebook post by the Swampscott Police Department in Massachusetts, authorities revealed the need to contain the spread of coronavirus. It asked residents to do the right lawful thing by disposing of such items in the trash. The post was accompanied by a photo of a Stop & Shop parking lot with old PPEs scattered everywhere.

Authorities said that improperly disposing of old gloves and masks is making a bad problem worse. Officials also said that it might spread coronavirus to people who gather and pick this type of trash. In addition to essential sanitation workers, others are also becoming worried about the hazards posed by discarded gloves and masks as they litter the roads to their jobs. To show their seriousness on the matter, authorities have imposed a hefty fine for those caught unlawfully disposing of PPE trash. According to officials, the first offense for unlawful disposal of PPE trash carries a $5,500 fine.

Gloves And Masks Everywhere

Kathleen Searle, an employee of Stop & Shop wrote a reply to the post of the police department, expressing her gratitude to officials for addressing the littering issue. Searle also wrote, “I have 5 young children at home, so not only am I putting myself at risk by going to work so they can shop and get what they need, but I am also putting my family at risk!”

In the Big Apple where it is already mandatory to wear a face mask when venturing into public places, the amount of PPE litter on the streets is shocking. In an Instagram post, an observer showed photos of Brooklyn streets littered with assorted gloves and captioned it with “People are so awful.”

An Environmental Issue As Well

Aside from becoming a visible eyesore, a trash issue, and a safety problem, it also has adverse effects on the environment in many ways by adding to the microplastic pollution problem. In an interview with CNN, Citizens Campaign for the Environment executive director Adrienne Esposito said that the PPE is intended to help in the fight against a public health challenge. It should not add to the problem by creating a plastic pollution issue.