TAKE YOUR FACE MASKS HOME…
Posted by Kat Heath on 24 Jun 2020
PPE is causing an environmental time bomb
There has noticeably been an increased amount of litter reported throughout the area over recent months. Amongst the litter is used PPE which is completely unacceptable and a hazard to health.
During the Covid-19 pandemic PPE such as face masks, surgical wipes and latex gloves have become commonplace accessories for many people when they go out in public.
This month London mayor Sadiq Khan announced that it will be mandatory to wear face masks on all transport coming in and out of London, including buses and tubes. Although there is still debate as to whether the masks are adequate in protecting against COVID-19 one thing that is becoming an issue is where and how people are disposing of their masks, gloves and wipes.
According to stats published by the environmental agency an astounding 62% of the UK public are believed to drop litter. Add PPE into that statistic and we are heading for an environmental crisis.
As a member of the public I have been alarmed and disgusted by the amount of used PPE just dumped into the paths and streets in and around the area. Not only is this a hazard to wildlife but also to humans. If we are serious in protecting each other and ourselves from Covid-19 then surely that means disposing of your PPE in a responsible manner.
(Resident picture, Green Lane, Ewell)
The Environmental Agency has made clear that used PPE should be placed carefully in an air tight bag (such as a nappy or sanitary bag) and placed in your household rubbish bin. IT SHOULD NOT BE RECYCLED.
Littering is against the law.
In conjunction with the Environmental Protection Act 1990, anyone caught by the Police or local authorities can insure an on the spot fine or a penalty of up to £2500 can be enforced if taken to court.
Local initiatives such as Keep Ewell Tidy which was set up by Ewell resident, Lerryn Reynoldson are a great way of the community coming together to tackle this increasingly worrying issue.
Lerryn says she set up the group to help combat the effects of local littering. Which affects us all.
Initiatives such as this have been welcomed by the local council and we are encouraged as residents to ‘do our bit’ in dealing with this issue.
Residents can apply for a litter pick up kit from the council by visiting this link:
If you have any concerns about PPE littering in your area contact the environmental agency:
Please Note: Do not attempt to touch used PPE without adequate protection.