Chances are, if you go to a grocery store in Southern California, you will see trash strewn in the parking lot. While littering has always been a problem, it has become more dangerous than ever. Californians are throwing used plastic gloves and masks in streets and parking lots and it poses a huge health hazard.

Social media feeds are filled with photos of personal protective equipment carelessly thrown about on public sidewalks, streets, parking lots, and other areas.

Besides the negative environmental impact, there is a greater concern relating to cross-contamination during COVID-19.

Linda St. Denis, a Safeway employee in Castro Valley, California told Business Insider, "The parking lots are littered with gloves constantly, every day. Who knows how long the virus lasts on these gloves. It's maddening."

This was not an isolated incident.

A grocery employee in Santa Maria also weighed in on the problem, asking residents to stop littering dirty materials.

Kevin Brewer, who works at the store FoodMax, admitted that he and his co-workers have to clean up used gloves left in the carts and store daily. 

"Gloves are everywhere, people are not cleaning up after they go to the store. They are just dropping stuff as they leave left and right,” he said to KEYT KCOY News.

A Los Angeles woman snapped a photo of a mask and plastic gloves littered on the grass in her neighborhood.

She took to Instagram to share the photo on April 7, writing, "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 Los Angeles Reddit user shared similar photos from a downtown grocery store parking lot.

Multiple pairs of used blue plastic gloves are scattered around the cart return area.

What is the danger in this?

The CDC states that COVID-19 may remain on surfaces from a couple of hours to even a few days. Cleaning of visible dirty surfaces is the best measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in community areas, they say.

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