COVID-19 phenomenon of discarded vinyl gloves, masks in parking lots draws concern

A startling new phenomenon in the COVID-19 pandemic shows an alarming amount of personal protective equipment like rubber gloves and masks being discarded in parking lots.
The trend comes as more and more people begin to use gloves and masks at the grocery store and other public areas that are still open during the pandemic.
Gov. Ned Lamont commented on the situation in a Facebook post, telling people to throw the gloves and masks out in trashcans outside of stores and not on the ground.

Helen Lowman, of Stamford-based not-for-profit Keep America Beautiful, says the behavior has to stop for the safety of the public.
"If we throw them on the ground, they're actually likely to end up in our waterways and in the ocean and, so that's the last thing we want is to not dispose of these things correctly and then to have them do more damage down the road," she says.
Lowman says the mission at Keep America Beautiful is to inspire and educate people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment.
"Most grocery stores have trashcans outside their building and so that's the place to put them. If you do take them into your car, use a plastic bag where those items can immediately go," she says.
News 12 has reached out to several police departments and is waiting to hear back on how they plan to address the situation and if they are issuing fines.
Many concerned residents say they have seen people leaving protective equipment on the ground, but there is no police enforcement at the moment.
More information about Keep America Beautiful can be found on their website. They say they collected 66 million pounds of litter and recyclables last year.
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