‘The face of litter has changed’

The Alpena News -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.

“These are things that could pose a danger to other people,” she said. “We’re all in this together. I understand people are scared and don’t want these items in their cars, but there are definitely ways of disposing of these things. The trash can is absolutely the best place.”

Lowman said the PPE litter is getting into drainage systems and waterways, while also being found in rivers, lakes and oceans.

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