MORE people are littering their used face masks and hygiene products putting others at risk of catching Covid-19, a council claims.

Rochford Council has seen more unsanitary personal protective equipment items such as masks and gloves discarded by people on the ground after they're worn outside.

The council has issued a stark warning that the more unsanitary items dropped, the more likely they are to spread the Covid-19 virus to other people.

Arthur Williams, Rochford councillor responsible for the environment, said: "More of us are using PPE, such as face coverings and disposable gloves, and for everyone’s protection we want to encourage residents to dispose of this properly after use.

"We've noticed more gloves and masks being dropped as litter. If you're taking them out with you for a walk, take them home with you.

"Remember these items cannot be recycled and it’s important to put them into the general waste bins where they will be disposed of safely."

A spokesman for Rochford Council said: "Disposable, used face coverings, gloves, tissues and wipes cannot be recycled.

"These should be disposed of in your general waste. Do not put these personal hygiene products in your recycling as they are not recyclable.

"It should be stored securely in disposable rubbish bags.

"These should be placed into another bag, tied securely, and kept outside for at least 72 hours before being put in the general rubbish bin, outside your house.

"Unsanitary items littered on the ground may put members of the public and litter-pickers at risk of contracting the virus, as well as being detrimental to the environment.

"If you or anybody in your household is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, such as a raised temperature, new continuous cough or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, take extra precautions when disposing of any personal waste."