Disgust at rise in littered masks, gloves and fast food packaging as lockdown eases
- Credit: JASON ALEXANDER
An Ipswich environmentalist has voiced his disgust after seeing an increasing amount of littered personal protective equipment (PPE) and fast food packaging following the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Jason Alexander, who runs Wildlife Gadget Man’s Rubbish Walks, said he was “hugely frustrated and disgusted” by the amount of litter found on his daily walks since the restrictions were relaxed earlier this month, which saw many drive-thru fast food outlets reopen.
He also fears the health impacts on local people, particularly during the current pandemic - saying: “They could become the next cause of transmission and there is absolutely no excuse.”
Mr Alexander said among the most common finds on his daily walks now are used gloves and masks – both in the street and at beauty spots such as the Strand and Orwell Country Park.
“At the beginning of the lockdown, litter significantly dropped in my area,” he said. “But what I have now begun to notice is a stark increase in PPE – masks, gloves, respirators.
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“It is obvious they are being chucked out of car windows as I keep finding them on streets with very little footfall.
“It is hugely frustrating and disgusting – the thought that someone has the concern of catching the virus and the health implications, but then deems it to be ok to chuck their dangerous litter on the ground.
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“The second they are littered, they become a hazard to everyone – they could become the next cause of transmission and there is absolutely no excuse.”
Elsewhere, Mr Alexander has also seen an increase in the amount of fast food litter since big chains reopened.
He said: “I remember going to ASDA in Whitehouse and seeing so much PPE littered in the car park, but then seeing huge lines of cars and lots of fast food packaging.
“It was the same at the old B&Q car park near Cardinal Park, where I found more than 20 masks and KFC and McDonald’s packaging – the bins were overflowing.
“Yes there are bins and yes they were full, but instead of people doing the right thing and simply taking their rubbish away with them, they just dump it. I have to take my hats off to the council workers as they are doing all they can to tackle it.”
Mr Alexander added he fears the situation could continue to worsen as more chains reopen.
He said: “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.
“A lot of people seem to think that the easing of lockdown means we have got through this, but it simply isn’t the case.”