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Please dispose of single-use face masks correctly

Date Published: 07 August 2020
Face mask litter

Rutland County Council is reminding people to dispose of single-use face masks correctly, as the use of face coverings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 is set to increase.

Government guidance states that face coverings are mandatory on all forms of public transport, and must also be worn indoors in shops, banks and post offices. From Saturday 8 August, face coverings will become mandatory in most other public indoor settings, with a limited number of exemptions.

“It’s been hugely encouraging to see the vast majority of people in Rutland following government guidance on face coverings. However, one drawback to the widespread use of single-use face masks is a noticeable increase in litter, where masks are being disposed of without due care. Once removed, you should store any reusable face coverings in a plastic bag until you have a chance to wash them at home. If a face covering is single-use, you should place it in a normal residual waste or litter bin, to protect the environment and help limit the spread of coronavirus. Please do not put them into a recycling bin.”
Councillor Gordon Brown, Cabinet Member for the Environment

Because face coverings are mainly intended to protect others, not the wearer, from COVID-19 they should not be viewed as a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing. It is important to follow all other government safety advice on the virus.

Please see the government's website for more information about face coverings, including detailed guidance on when and how to wear them.

The government has also published a helpful guide on how to make your own reusable face mask at home.

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