A MUNICIPALITY in Mallorca has handed out its first €300 fine for failing to correctly discard of a face mask.
Santa Eugenia town hall vowed to continue imposing the penalty to anyone who is seen throwing the personal protective gear on the ground.
Local community inspectors will be keeping a close eye on both residents and holidaymakers to ensure that the masks are discarded correctly in rubbish bins.
Mayor Pep Lluis Urraca explained that the fines have been introduced due to an overwhelming number of masks spotted littering the streets.
“We cannot allow these uncivil practices in a town as clean as ours to happen,” Urraca said.
“Not only are they sanitary waste but they are also polluting, and during a health crisis it is simply unacceptable.”
According to El Mundo, the city with the highest fines so far has been Toledo, with penalties reaching as high as €3,000.
Sevilla has also been reported to issue penalties as high as €900 while citizens in Cadiz have been forced to pay up to €750.
In response to the high number of masks littered on the streets, the Centre for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies warned that they presented health and safety hazards as well as environmental issues.
PPE litter is not only a visible eyesore, it’s more hazardous than normal rubbish, as it has a higher risk of spreading COVID-19.
Also by being extremely light-weight, the items can be easily swept away with the wind and end up in waterways or in other natural habitats where they become a danger to wildlife.