HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – The use of personal protective equipment is encouraged and in some cases required for folks to wear.
But, after they’re used it seems they’re not being thrown away properly.
“The Department of Transportation and TDEC have been seeing a massive increase in PPE, personal protective equipment litter,” Keep Tennessee Beautiful Executive Director Missy Marshall said.
Marshall said they’re seeing items like single-use masks, gloves and hand sanitizer bottles.
“We’re seeing more of this on the roadways and parking lots of businesses such as grocery stores and home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s,” she said.
TDOT, TDEC and Keep Tennessee Beautiful are partnering up to raise awareness about the litter and how to dispose of it properly.
“If you have a one-time use mask to not put that in a recycling bin, but put that in a trash bin to reduce the amount of that litter. Try to use reusable masks that you can wash and clean,” Marshall said.
She said through litter campaigns and education they have been able to reduce litter in general.
“But, now seeing the increase in these particular items it’s just, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s concerning just because, because you do run the risk of you know, of you know infected items such as masks, gloves in our environment,” Marshall said.
She recommends folks carry a bag in their car to dispose items.
It’s a way to help reduce the amount of litter.