Ocean County Press Release
IT'S A SIGN of the times – plastic gloves and facemasks.
However important the protective coverings are to keeping everyone safe and healthy, they still need to be disposed of properly after use, Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari said.
"On a recent trip to the supermarket I was stunned by the number of used plastic gloves in the parking lot," he said. "This cannot continue."
The used gloves, and in some case masks, pose both a health threat and a danger to the environment.
"Nobody wants to be picking up used gloves," he said. "Fortunately, there are easy ways to dispose of the gloves properly."
Vicari suggested people bring plastic bags with them while out shopping or visiting other destinations.
"Carefully remove the gloves after use and place them in the plastic bag for disposal once you get home," he said. "For an extra precaution, use hand sanitizer after handling the gloves and the bags."
After seeing plastic gloves strewn across the parking lot, and even thrown into shopping carts, at a local supermarket, Vicari also asked that food stores, convenience stores and other retail establishments place additional trash cans in their parking lots for the disposal of gloves and masks.
"The easier it is to throw away used gloves, the less likely people will be to simply toss them on the ground," Vicari said.
Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Health Department, agreed.
"It doesn't take much time or effort to remove the gloves and throw them in a trash can," he said.
Little said the problem isn't limited to shopping centers.
"I've seen gloves and masks on sidewalks and in the gutters," Little said. "There is absolutely no reason for this to happen."
Besides the obvious health risks, rubber gloves pose a danger to sewer systems and the environment.
"Gloves can wash into storm drains and block them up," Vicari said. "They can also wash into lakes, rivers and the bay causing environmental hazards."