Solihull public spaces littered with face masks and disposable gloves
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as disposable gloves, face coverings or face masks helps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 through coughing, sneezing and talking, helping to protect others. When worn correctly the face covering will cover the mouth and the nose. Earlier this year, the wearing of face coverings was made mandatory in certain public spaces such as:
- Travelling on public transport
- In shops, supermarkets and shopping centres
- Not seated at a table to eat or drink in hospitality venues
With the increase in people wearing face coverings and face masks in public there has been an increase in PPE litter in public parks, pavements and other public spaces. The potentially hazardous discarded PPE is an infection risk to the public and to litter pickers.
Councillors and litter pickers in Shirley, Elmdon and Lyndon have also confirmed problems of increased PPE litter in their areas.
Environmental groups have also warned that the increase in PPE litter is also a problem for the environment and local wildlife. Whilst it is important to wear a face covering, the way it is disposed is just as important from a public health perspective.