The Cabildo de Gran Canaria, island government, has urged people on the island to dispose of masks and gloves properly and with great care.

While the State of Emergency de-escalation continues, and once it is over, gloves and mask use will be massive and so it is very important that these protective materials are placed into a closed bag, and put in the grey general waste containers, to help avoid them becoming potential sources of contagion or contaminating streets, parks, ravines or beaches, as well as preventing the wind from moving these residues, uncontrolled, in to the natural environment or out to sea, as has been observed in recent days.

Masks and gloves should not be thrown or left on the street or in shopping trollies, nor dumped outside rubbish containers, carparks, in flower beds or even in open litter bins. These protective materials are not similar to cans, tetrapak cartons or plastic bottles, so they should not be placed in the yellow recycling containers.

Masks and gloves, after being used as protection against the Covid-19, can become a dangerous source of contagion or contamination, if people do not dispose of this waste properly.  They should never be just dropped on public roads or outside the gray general rubbish containers, because winds can then carry them into to ravines, on to beaches or in to the sea, which also has a very serious affect on the environment of Gran Canaria.

In homes with people diagnosed with Covid-19

Waste such as gloves, handkerchiefs, and masks should not be separated for recycling and should be placed in a plastic bag, which should then be tied shut. It is recommended that the person in quarantine use their own exclusive waste bin, in their room, with a lid and an opening pedal, which should be used only for these waste materials, as established by the State’s best practice guidance.

Caregiver’s face masks and gloves should be thrown into another plastic bag inside the quarantined person’s room, preferably near the door.

When taking a quarantined person’s or caregiver’s waste to the grey rubbish containers, the bags containing them should be placed in a third plastic bag that should also be closed and tied shut.
The person handling these residues, after depositing them in the grey container, should then wash their hands with soap and water for between 40 & 60 seconds.

The use of face masks is now mandatory, by law, in open and closed places, indoors or outdoors, where a safety distance of two meters cannot be maintained, as stated in the Official State Gazette (BOE) on May 19.

The use of gloves must be accompanied by constant hand washing or the application of hydroalcoholic gel.

It is very important for the health of the population of Gran Canaria, and that of the natural environment, that everyone follow these recommendations for careful use and disposal of these necessary materials. The State of Emergency has given the environment some chance to rest and renew, with famous points of outstanding natural beauty, like the Maspalomas Dunes, recovering much of their landscape not seen since tourism began 50 years ago, so the de-escalation process, and our return to normal activities, must be carried out with real sanitary security, citizen responsibility and environmental sustainability.