Calls to stop littering Wigan with used face masks and gloves

People are throwing used face masks and gloves on the floor while out in Wigan.
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Wigan Council is urging residents to dispose of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) correctly if they are worn outside while walking or undergoing other activities.

Unsanitary items littered on the ground may put members of the public and litter-pickers at risk of contracting coronavirus, as well as being detrimental to the environment.

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The warning comes after council bosses said they had seen more littering of "potentially dangerous" items like face masks an latex gloves during the lockdown.

Wigan town centreWigan town centre
Wigan town centre

The council said: "With more people outdoors and using protective equipment, we are sadly seeing more littering of potentially dangerous items like face masks and latex gloves.

"Please be mindful of our frontline workers having to pick up after people who choose not to dispose of them correctly.

"We are asking for everyone’s cooperation not only due to the inconvenience, but also any potential infection issues associated with having to clean discarded latex gloves, protective face masks and tissues from our streets.

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People found to be littering will be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £120 which if paid within 14 days reduces to £65. Failure to pay the penalty within the time frame will result in prosecution and a maximum fine of £2,500.

The council added: "Now, more than ever, we need to respect the fact that many are making sacrifices to serve our community, it is really important that people dispose of items in a careful, considerate and responsible way."

From June 15, face coverings have become mandatory for passengers using public transport in England.

Bus, coach, train, tram, ferry and aircraft passengers must wear a face covering on their journey to help reduce the risk of transmission when social distancing is not always possible - with government also working with operators to ensure staff are provided with face coverings where appropriate.