‘The face of litter has changed:’ Gloves, masks, PPE in trash proves to be problem for environmental groups

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Salem News
June 10, 2020
By Katie Anderson

Even trash looks different during a global pandemic. Where one would usually see bottles, cans and wrappers, there’s now an abundance of discarded Latex gloves, masks and Lysol wipes.

Helen Lowman, the CEO of Keep America Beautiful, said recently that she’s noticed an uptick in personal protective equipment litter since March.

“I look at litter a lot,” she said. “Two weeks into the shelter-in-place orders, I was taking my dog on a walk, and I was like, ‘What are all these things?’ The face of litter has changed.”

Lowman said that while the typical types of litter haven’t decreased, PPE litter has certainly gone up, which is “exceptionally bad,” because those are items designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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