Increase of surgical waste in our waterways, overall decrease in trash due to people staying indoors


MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — With more people staying indoors there has been an overall decrease in the amount of trash in our waterways. On the other hand, there has been a massive increase in the amount of surgical waste.

It is recommended to wear gloves when going to the grocery store. Once you are in the parking lot and decide to dispose of the gloves on the ground, the chances are after a big rainstorm they’ll end up in our waterways.

Don Bates, CEO of Osprey Initiatives, explains the influx of surgical gloves that they are finding in our waterways and how they’re harmful to our environment.

“We have seen a pretty big uptake in mainly surgical gloves are what we our finding,” Don said. “We may in the last year have found 7 or 8 surgical gloves and we found 30 plus in just the cleanup yesterday”

Throughout April, we’ve seen below-average amounts of rainfall in Mobile. After a few more rain storms, the amount of surgical waste in our waterways is anticipated to spike.

“We just haven’t had the rain during the peak event of the coronavirus to make the litter move besides the rain we had on Sunday,” Don explained.

The structure of the gloves is especially harmful to our environment. The gloves can easily get holes in the micro plastic and it is then able to float and threaten wildlife.

Even though we are seeing an increase in the amount of surgical waste in our waterways, the overall amount has decreased with more people staying indoors.

“You know, I think we are going to see a general reduction because the big groups of people aren’t out,” Don said.

It is important to properly dispose of surgical waste to help keep our environment clean throughout this pandemic.


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