The public has become angered over people who have been littering gloves and masks all over supermarket car parks — which can pose a risk to others in the community, experts warn.
In several posts on local community pages, people have been branded by users as "disgusting" and "gross" after they discovered rubbish left behind by supermarket customers.
"It's good to see people in Rewa suiting up when going out to the supermarket. But the thing that p***es me off is looking through the car park at Clendon and there are gloves everywhere on the ground," Kasey Carter wrote.
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"Why should someone else have to pick up your gloves and face masks? It's like we have to give step by step instructions to grown as Nasty Adult.
Put your s*** in the bin. Don't be dirty Kiwi's."
Carter also posted a photo of rubbish strewn across the car park.
"Did anyone else notice the Pak'nSave car park littered with peoples receipts and disposed of gloves just thrown on the ground?", another person wrote.
"I know this is a stressful time and what not but surely it's not that hard to buy a pack of rubbish bags to keep handy in your car and dispose of things that way rather than just throwing them where ever? Just a thought. On another note, take care everyone and be safe!"
Microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles told the Herald people leaving gloves and masks behind at the supermarket was concerning as it poses a risk to those who have to clean it up, especially if the rubbish is contaminated with Covid-19.
CEO of the non-profit organisation Keep New Zealand Beautiful Heather Saunderson told the Herald that she also believed potentially contaminated items could put others in the community at risk.
"These are unprecedented times that we are living in and as we enter into our second week of a level 4 national lockdown due to Coronavirus (Covid-19), the safety of ourselves, our families and our communities is paramount.
"Whilst we strive to encourage and inspire people to reduce their dependence on single-use items, we understand that during these extraordinary times some single-use products are necessary to keep us healthy and safe.
"However, littered masks and gloves are not only detrimental to the environment and our ecosystem, but these potentially contaminated items also put others in the community at risk.
"We are all in this together, and Keep New Zealand Beautiful encourages New Zealanders to 'Do the Right Thing' and dispose of this waste properly and with care, to keep yourselves, your whanau and your community healthy and safe."
During the level 4 lockdown, the Keep New Zealand Beautiful team are continuing to work behind the scenes by providing virtual educational platforms and community pride programming.
The Herald has contacted Foodstuffs and Countdown for comment.