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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 4 June, 2020
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Galway and Waterford city councils ask the public to stop throwing plastic gloves on the ground

“They just seem to be everywhere,” SocDem councillor Owen Hanley said.

GALWAY AND WATERFORD City Councils have asked people to stop discarding plastic gloves on the ground after using them, as more people wear plastic protective equipment during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I don’t know what compels people to to dump them everywhere because they just seem to be everywhere,” Social Democrat councillor for Galway Owen Hanley said.

Tweet by @Cllr. Owen Hanley Source: Cllr. Owen Hanley/Twitter

He explained that part of the reason why people are wearing more gloves at the moment is because some shops require them to be worn in order for people to enter.

“But very few from what I’ve seen that don’t already have bins aren’t providing bins, so we’re providing the gloves but we’re not providing a place to dispose of them.

“In general, at least in Galway, our waste collection has decreased. So there’s a lot of bins overflowing at the moment and a lot of public bins aren’t accessible to use.”

If you’re wearing the gloves to stop you getting infected, dumping them on the grass and then having a child or a dog run through the grass isn’t going to help.
If you leave a glove, somebody has to pick it up. So make sure that if you put on the gloves, that you’re bringing it to the bin, and that you’re ending the cycle of people touching that.

He said that Galway City Council is set to launch an awareness campaign that specifically focuses on the gloves, and reminds the public to dispose of them in the coming days.  

The campaign will also instruct people on how to remove their gloves properly.

Tweet by @Emma Bilsborough Source: Emma Bilsborough/Twitter

In a statement, Galway City Council said that it “is aware of the issue of the increased littering of material such as gloves which has arisen in recent days”.

“Our Environment Department is currently addressing the issue and will link with businesses outside or adjacent to whose premises a lot of the littering is occurring, to ensure that bins are in place to dispose of these gloves when their customers have taken them off on leaving shops and other retail areas.

We appeal, of course, to members of the public to act responsibly and to be aware of both the environmental and public health issues concerned. Please dispose of these gloves in a bin or to bring them home with you and dispose of them in your household waste bins.

A spokesperson for Waterford City and County Council said: “The disposal of gloves on streets, paths and roadsides has become a problem across Waterford. Our advice is to dispose of these items in on street bins or alternatively bring them home and dispose in your domestic waste.” 

In statements to TheJournal.ie, Limerick City and County Council and Dublin City Council said that they hadn’t experienced a similar problem, but did call on the public to dispose of protective equipment properly.

“[Limerick's] road-cleaning and street-cleaning crews are continuing to provide this essential service, but at reduced rosters to reflect fewer people out and about.

Limerick City and County Council also encourages people not to litter, use the bins provided and if there are no bins around to bring the litter home and dispose of it then.
Dublin City Council are not receiving specific reports or complaints about this issue. Our advice is that if members of the public need to dispose of these items while in public places then they should always be put into a litter bin and not discarded on the street. We are continuing to service all litter bins in the city regularly.

Cork City Council was asked for comment, but did not provide one by the time that this article was published. 

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