At this parking lot east of Los Angeles, the ground is covered with used masks, gloves and sanitizing wipes.
This scene is being increasingly played out in public spaces across the U.S…
And residents are concerned that products meant to protect people are now a threat all their own as they lay contaminated on the ground.
Wellness Coach Idris Morehouse says he thinks the littering stems from an irrational fear of getting too close to public garbage cans.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) IDRIS MOREHOUSE, SAYING:
“The virus isn’t going to jump from the edge of your trash can to your finger.”
L.A. County resident Traci Nichols says she puts used gloves in her trunk, until she can properly dispose of them:
(SOUNDBITE)(English) TRACI NICHOLS, SAYING:
“Have a little bit more care and be thoughtful of other people. Not only that, but be thoughtful of our earth, right?”
Environmentalists say some disposable wipes contain plastics that could take up to 100 years to break down. And that becomes a big issue if the litter ends up in storm water drains.
The CDC is advising Americans to place all used products in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste… then to wash hands immediately after handling the items.