‘It’s still litter, you twonk’ - anger as dumped PPE rubbish grows
New government guidelines and rules means more people are using personal protective equipment (PPE) in their daily lives as a safeguard against coronavirus.
But instead of disposing of items in the bin, Rubbish Walks founder Jason Alexander said he has noticed growing amounts of used PPE being dumped around Ipswich streets and at beauty spots.
Venting his frustration at some people’s reckless actions, he even dubbed one litterer a “twonk” for wrapping gloves in a plastic bag - before discarding it in Ipswich’s Landseer Park.
“It doesn’t matter how neatly you tie it up, if you don’t put it in a bin it’s still litter, you twonk,” he wrote on Twitter.
Mr Alexander added: “Not only is it bad for the environment and against the law, it’s also a potential health hazard.
“It’s a new phenomenon. We’ve got these items which are seen as single-use and possibly contaminated. People want to get rid of them as quickly as they can.
“Instead of thinking about others, they take the easy option and the path of least resistance because they drop them where they can.”
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Even though Mr Alexander had thought PPE litter was declining following the lockdown easing, he now says it is “creeping up again as people are venturing out a little bit more”.
He added: “There are other things starting to open and there are lots of people using masks.”
In one case, he found between 20 and 30 rubber gloves dumped with electrical equipment in trees at Landseer Park.
“How can anyone consider that as acceptable behaviour?” he asked.
He has also picked up significant amounts of PPE litter by the River Orwell and The Strand.
Mr Alexander has called the behaviour “hugely frustrating and disgusting” - but it is not the only type of littering to draw his ire.
Since drive-thru restaurants have reopened under eased lockdown restrictions, Mr Alexander has noticed a huge rise in fast food litter.
It had fallen dramatically in the first phase of the lockdown, by Mr Alexander said bins are often now overflowing and discarded packaging can be found in car parks in beauty spots.
“It is just such a shame, I was really hoping this lockdown would change our views and help us realise the impact we are having on our environment,” Mr Alexander said.
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