I AM A volunteer litter picker for Test Valley Council. In a two-hour walk round Romsey town centre last week I found plastic and glass bottles, cans galore, fast food packaging, half-eaten meals, crisp packets, cigarette packets and fifty, yes FIFTY discarded masks.

This is disappointing; it’s lazy and inconsiderate. Do Romsonians really care so little about the environment they live in? The fact there are people who will tidy up after you does not give you the right to throw what you like where you like.

Masks are absolutely useless. Anyone who wears glasses knows that. Glasses steam up the minute you mask up. If masks are some kind of ‘comfort’ to you, is it so much to ask you to dispose of them properly? There is no excuse for littering, never mind littering on this scale.

Many of the masks were found in or near the Aldi and Waitrose car parks. Given the quantity involved, I urge any business or organisation still requiring customers to wear them to reconsider. Anyone who expects their customers to use masks is contributing, albeit perhaps unintentionally, to this problem.

Every volunteer gives up his or her own free time to help keep our town tidy. I’m sure some of my colleagues are now asking themselves “Why bother?” The more litter people drop, the fewer volunteers will be willing to tidy up the mess. More mess left on our streets creates more problems and so on in a vicious circle.

As things stand, a small minority of people are taking advantage of our good will. That has to stop.

Andrew Peterson