EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Go to any shopping center these days and you’ll probably find plastic gloves face masks littering the parking lot. Store workers say not only is it lazy, but those who throw their PPE on the ground put those who clean it up in danger.
Dave Cretella, produce manager at T&J Supermarket in East Haven told News 8, “You see a lot of gloves thrown in the parking lot. You see some masks thrown in the parking lot. A lot of people leave them in the carriages.”
These masks and gloves are discarded PPE meant to protect individuals from contracting and spreading the highly-contagious COVID-19.
Since the pandemic began, grocery stores and gas stations have seen an excessive amount of PPE on the ground and not in the trash can.
Cretella said, “They get done shopping and they fling them right off.”
Store workers are doing the dirty work of picking it all up. Cretella adding, “It gets stuck on us, picking up the messes that people leave behind.”
Shopper Maryanne Apuzzo said, “We are putting them in jeopardy and they’re already in jeopardy enough as it is.”
Stores are doing a lot of cleaning inside and out.
Donna Angeletti, the owner of T&J Supermarket said, “With all the stuff that’s going on no one wants to pick up someone else’s germy wipes or germy mask or germy gloves.”
Gas stations say the trash lately has been excessive. Linda Hennessey, the owner of Forbes Premium Fuel said, “They use the card at the pump. And it’s just get your gas and go and throw your stuff on the ground.”
Store owners fear it could be a health hazard for their employees.
“They just take their gloves off and just throw them in the parking lot and between myself and our managers and our cashiers to keep our parking lots clean they go out with their gloves and masks on and their pickers and their pails and pick everything up,” said Hennessey.
Angeletti added, “It’s upsetting to see that people wouldn’t do this in their own home but they are doing it here.”