Opinion: A new kind of jerk – the surgical glove litterbug

Chris Campbell

Nature lover Paul Cipywnyk has a simple message for people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s so simple it seems silly to even have to share it. But here we are.

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Cipywnyk – an avid nature photographer who also helps take care of Byrne Creek in South Burnaby – posted on his blog and on Twitter photos of various surgical gloves tossed on the ground around his neighbourhood.

It wasn’t just one glove or two. It was a lot of them and it’s not just frustrating - it’s dangerous to the environment and people’s health.

“Please don’t litter used masks and gloves, good people of #Burnaby,” Cipywnyk wrote.“This is disgusting. And potentially dangerous to our community.”

gloves covid-19
Paul Cipywnyk – an avid nature photographer who also helps take care of Byrne Creek in South Burnaby – posted on his blog and on Twitter photos of various surgical gloves tossed on the ground around his neighbourhood.

Wearing these types of gloves for protection is fine, but just peeling them off and tossing them on the ground is a terrible idea.

It’s raised the ire of Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart, who has seen this going on in his community as well.

“I get it,” Steward wrote in a Facebook post, “you think that your gloves might have been in contact with the virus. As a result, you discard them rather than put them in a garbage bag in your car.

“This exhibits some especially selfish and antisocial attitudes. If you think something is contaminated, then discard it properly.”

Several municipalities across Metro Vancouver have asked residents to dispose of used medical protective equipment and soiled tissues in sealed plastic bags to prevent possible transmission.

“This needs to stop,” added Stewart. “We can't look out only for ourselves, we need to all be in this together.

mask covid-19
Paul Cipywnyk – an avid nature photographer who also helps take care of Byrne Creek in South Burnaby – posted on his blog and on Twitter photos of various surgical gloves and masks tossed on the ground around his neighbourhood.

“Perhaps a $10,000 fine would be in order for discarding used masks/gloves?”

It’s not just filthy gloves being tossed – it’s also surgical masks.

Cipywnyk posted a photo of one at a storm drain that leads into a fish habitat.

“All this crap would wash into Byrne Creek if my wife hadn’t carefully picked it up with tongs and disposed of it properly,” he wrote.

Come on, people.

It’s a pandemic and we all need to maintain social order.

  • With files from Stefan Labbe, Tri-City News

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44

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