The Golden State is at risk of becoming the garbage state as trash piles up in California. Due to COVID-19, the risk is even greater. Before you drop a used plastic glove or mask on the ground, think again. You could be charged up to $3,000 for pandemic littering in California.\nLast week, the County of Los Angeles issued a plea to its residents. "If you are wearing disposable gloves while out for essentials, please throw them * in the trash * not on the ground," they wrote on Twitter.\nBesides removing possible sources of contamination, cleaning up trash and plastic helps the environment.\nThe National Conference of State Legislatures reports that the cost of tossing trash on the ground is pretty steep.\nAccording to their official website, first-time violators could face a fine between $100 to $1,000 and a mandatory eight hours of community service trash cleanup.\nRepeat offenders face a fine between $500 and $1,000 and 16 hours of community service. Those who have been caught a third time face $750 to $1,000 in fines and a full 24 hours of roadside cleanup.\nIf you are wearing disposable gloves while out for essentials, please throw them *in the trash* not on the ground. pic.twitter.com/ZQ7Wz72vVY— Los Angeles County (@CountyofLA) April 21, 2020\nThe stakes are especially high during COVID-19.\nUsed rubber gloves and disposable masks have been spotted on sidewalks, in parking lots, and public streets everywhere from San Diego to Bakersfield and beyond.\n“It is so important for us to wear our protection, to wear our masks and gloves, but it’s also so important to dispose of those responsibly,” Mayor Karen Goh said.\n"The parking lots are littered with gloves constantly, every day," said an employee of a California Safeway store. "Who knows how long the virus lasts on these gloves. It's maddening." pic.twitter.com/pcQQ9CfrwP— Hayley Peterson (@hcpeterson) April 7, 2020\nThis past month, the state has seen a surge in littering of possibly contaminated items.\nThe Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that COVID-19 can remain on surfaces from anywhere from a few hours to a few days.\nView this post on Instagram So sad when you see the streets littered with gloves and masks. Stop littering the streets with your gloves and masks! Thank you 😷 #swissqualitysmile #coronavirus #covid19 #trash A post shared by Ilona Casellini (@swissqualitysmile) on Apr 7, 2020 at 10:27am PDT\nCleaning visibly dirty surfaces is the best preventative measure to curb the spread of the virus, they say.