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Los Angeles City Council agreed to consider a motion to increase penalties for littering PPE such as face masks and gloves.

The motion was brought forth by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, as he addressed the risk involved with citizens improperly discarding their masks and gloves.

“People are dropping these items on the ground because they believe they might be contaminated.” Blumenfield said. “This littering is not only disrespectful to others, it is dangerous to others. Especially to the workers who end up cleaning up these contaminated items.”

Blumenfield also wanted to clarify that an increase in sanitation funding was not necessary, as a previous version of his motion made it seem so. 

“I don’t want to be asking for additional funds during an economic crisis,” Blumenfield said.

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell seconded the motion, saying that masks were being found in parks, gutters, sidewalks all over Los Angeles. 

“…[I] just realize the level of disrespect that is for others in the general public,” O’Farrell said. 

While the Council adopted the measure with a 14-0 vote, the Energy, Climate Change, and Environmental Justice Committee waived consideration of the amendment.