Harrogate face mask litter a ‘sign of the times’
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Last updated Oct 19, 2020
Some of the face mask litter images captured by Glyn Hambrook.

A Harrogate resident who takes pictures of discarded face masks believes they are a “sad sign of the times”.

Glyn Hambrook, a retired university lecturer, has built up a collection of images over the past couple of weeks.

He doesn’t go out of his way to find them littered on the ground but has still managed to snap 17 on his daily school run.

The official guidance in England is to wear reusable masks when possible. If you use a single use mask you should dispose of it in a black bin bag.


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However, Mr Hambrook has noticed an increasing amount thrown on the floor, leaving them to others to clean up.

He told the Stray Ferret:

“I am by no means an environmental activist but I noticed how, as coronavirus restrictions eased, the truce we had with nature seemed to become lost. To me, these images I have taken are quite poignant. They blend the tragedy of the pandemic with the melancholy of autumn.”

Besides creating a sad sight on the streets, the masks pose risks to wildlife. The RSPCA has encouraged people to “snip the straps” of masks amid concerns about the number of animals caught in litter since lockdown.

Have you noticed face mask litter on your street? Send in your pictures and stories to [email protected]


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