Coronavirus: Woman disgusted after finding plastic gloves littered outside supermarket

Gloves were left on the ground in a Hamilton supermarket.
Gloves were left on the ground in a Hamilton supermarket. Photo credit: Getty

A Hamilton woman is disgusted after seeing single-use plastic protective gloves dumped in a supermarket car park. 

Eve King recently visited the Anglesea Street Countdown, where she found personal protective equipment littering the ground.

"I just went to the supermarket today and saw these gloves everywhere. Couldn't believe that people would just throw them on the ground," she told Newshub.

Some supermarkets have been providing customers with gloves to reduce the amount of contact in the stores and minimise the spread of COVID-19.

But customers have not been repaying the favour, with many dumping their gloves and masks near trolley bays rather than walking back to the supermarket to discard them in rubbish bins.

King said it isn't fair on supermarket staff who are already putting in a lot of effort and hours during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The staff are working hard enough to keep the supermarkets going for us, and now we expect them to pick up our possibly contaminated gloves?... I'm pretty annoyed," she said.

King posted a photo of the litter to the Hamilton NZ Community Noticeboard on Facebook and commenters say they have seen it happening at other stores too.

One person said they had seen it at Claudelands countdown and another at the Chartwell store.

The commenters have slammed the litterers as "disgusting" and "lazy" for not walking back to the store.

In the photo, a face mask can also be seen disposed of on the ground, which some customers have been using as protection.

The masks can be effective at capturing droplets which is the main transmission route of coronavirus.

While it isn't compulsory to wear protective equipment, the World Health Organization has gathered a team of researchers to reassess their advice on who should wear face masks.

Currently, they only recommend it for those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or people caring for cases.

This advice is what is being followed by the Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Government. Factors may change if there becomes widespread community transmission and enough for all New Zealanders.

However, if you do wish to wear a mask there are some tips for making sure it is the most effective, including constantly washing your hands.

Keeping your hands clean is considered one of the most effective ways to minimise the risk of getting COVID-19 and is why many people choose to wear gloves to cover their hands.

Dr Siousie Wiles has also advised that people who wear face masks should make sure not to get a false sense of security from the protective gear.

Wearing a face mask will not completely protect people from COVID-19, but will help to prevent the spread orally. 

She says everyone still needs to follow the Government's advice and keep up good hygiene practices.

Countdown has been contacted for comment.