Used PPE thrown out in streets underscores new littering issue

Coronavirus
Data pix.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Viewers' pictures and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful volunteers' accounts show a frustrating problem growing around the city. It appears people are tossing their used gloves, wipes and masks on the ground after using them.

"The littering behavior itself doesn't change, just kind of the item that's being littered seems to have changed," Ashley Haynes explained.

Haynes is the director of marketing for Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. She said her organizations' volunteers and those working with Keep America Beautiful are noticing the issue of littering gloves and masks.

"They've seen it across the country," Haynes said. "I think what's really concerning aside from the environmental impact of the litter, is the fact that these materials, especially gloves and wipes, they're being used to clean and protect people from the coronavirus.

"When those items are dropped on the ground, while there's not a long life of the virus and not a large amount of the virus that lives on surfaces especially out in the open air, there is still a small risk the virus could be contaminated, and you could get it from picking up the litter that's on the ground from the gloves or the mask."

When you are finished using your disposable gloves, masks and wipes, you should throw them away in a designated trash can, preferably one with a lid. Then, wash your hands.

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