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Stop pandemic littering: Surgical gloves dumped in parking lots

Paramedic urges not to toss gloves onto ground
glove lot.jpg
Posted at 5:17 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 19:19:41-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — During this pandemic there is a new littering problem that has cropped up across the area. Surgical gloves are being tossed on the ground in grocery store and shopping plaza parking lots.

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Gloves tossed by shopping carts in Buffalo.

7 Eyewitness News senior reporter Eileen Buckley shows us why it's so important to safely remove and discard your gloves.

It's an unsettling site that you’ve probably seen on your Facebook feed, surgical gloves dumped on the ground in the parking lots of supermarkets and even tossed along some parks.

While it's important for you to protect yourself against the coronavirus, you should not toss the gloves on the ground or leave them in shopping carts.

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Gloves tossed in parking lot.

An expert with AMR says you can safely remove them from your hands right into a trash can.

“Probably standing over a receptacle is the smartest thing to do — because they will drop right into it, so you peel them off, kind of go backwards and then take your hand here and go under the lip, peel off the other one and you can just drop them right in as you stand over it,” demonstrated Chris Stawasz, public information officer, AMR.

Not only are you littering, but you're not considering all the store staffers and plaza owners who have to come out to their parking lots to pick up contaminated gloves and dispose of them.

“And you're not causing someone else, who doesn't have PPE on them, to have to go and put those in the trash for you or they're blowing around in the wind or what have you,” Stawasz remarked.

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Discarded glove in a parkig lot.

Stawasz has been a paramedic for 35-years. He’s urging everyone to take a couple of seconds to throw out the gloves.

“It’s got to be disheartening for you folks because it's also a precious item right now?” questioned Buckley. “That's an excellent point - personal protective equipment is very valuable to first responders and health care workers right now, so we would like people to use it as sparingly as they possible,” replied Stawasz.