Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection is asking people to stop tossing protective gloves and masks on the ground.

Improperly disposed-of gloves have become a growing litter concern and a potential bio hazard around the country, as well as in other countries, and are now showing up in Maine, too.

The disposable gloves are showing up mostly in parking lots of grocery stores or pharmacies. Shoppers who wear them into a store to protect against touching contaminated surfaces during the coronavirus crisis peal them off as soon as they get outside, then apparently decide they no longer want to touch them.

That, of course, means someone else will have to pick them up.

“Safely dispose of your used gloves in the trash. Bag them up in your car if you can’t find an outdoor garbage can,” the DEP said in a post on Twitter Wednesday. “Don’t throw them on the ground for someone else to pick up, or harm the environment.”


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